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TWO years ago I received from the Rev. Chalmers D. 
Chapman, of Brevard, N. C, a manuscript diary of 
the Rev. David McClure, D.D., which had been left with 
his grandfather thirty-six years earlier by a kinsman of 
Dr. McClure, and never reclaimed. Mr. Chapman sent 
it to me as the great-grandson of Thomas McClure, a 
younger brother of David, and therefore the great-grand- 
nephew of the writer of the diary, and the nearest relative 
of the same with whom he was acquainted. This diary 
was contained in a book, at the end of which were added 
various notes, a couple of letters, and a brief genealogy of 
the writer, as published in the present volume. There 
were, in all, two hundred and sixty written pages in this 
little volume, of which the first nineteen, with the corre- 
sponding cover, had been torn off. Fortunately there fell 
into the hands of my cousin, Mrs. W. D. Peters, of 
Chicago, another diary of Dr. McClure, which had been 
begun, but never finished. This covered the pages miss- 
ing in my copy, and as much more besides. 

Apparently Dr. McClure kept some sort of a diary from 
June 7, 1766, onwards. The entries in this diary must 
have been very fitful. In 1805 Dr. McClure seems to 
have undertaken to write up these fitful entries in another 
book, adding in doing so later material under the earlier 
dates. After that he continued the diary in the same 
fitful manner until May 13, 1819. After this, the last 
entry in point of date, there is added an entry dated 
Sep. 25, 1816, with the word " omitted " before it, show- 
ing that these latter entries- or the whole book must have 
been written up by him after May 13, 18 19. Everything 
is written in the same hand, which seems clearly to be 

iv Preface 

that of Dr. McClure himself. He also numbered all the 
pages of the book. The diary proper ends on page 246 
of the original blank book. The following pages were 
left blank, it being the evident intention of the writer to 
continue the diary in this new book which he had thus 
written up to date. On page 269, enough pages having 
been left blank for future diary use, he adds, with a 
reference to page 23, an account of a visit to the Narra- 
gansett Indians in 1768 ; then on page 282 an account of 
his reading ; on page 287 extracts from various letters, 
etc., and finally, on the last two pages of the book, 291 
and 292, a genealogical table. Having thus written up 
everything interesting in his life to date, it was evidently 
his intention to use this little volume for future diary 
entries, if anything of interest should occur. He died 
very shortly after, on June 25, 1820, and no more entries 
were made. The copy in the hands of my cousin, Mrs. 
W. D. Peters, Dr. McClure seems to have begun shortly 
before his death, apparently with the intention of be- 
queathing the diary to one daughter, and copies of it to 
others ; but he did not live to finish the work. 

Dr. McClure's grandfather, Samuel, and his brother 
David, with others, came from the neighborhood of Lon- 
donderry to Boston about 1728, and established a Pres- 
byterian church in that city, later known as the Federal 
Street Church. Samuel McClure was the first Deacon of 
this church, and was succeeded in that office by his son 
John and his grandson Thomas. The latter resigned his 
office and left the church when it turned Unitarian under 
Dr. Channing. 

David, the writer of this diary, was the son of John, the 
son of Samuel McClure, and of Rachel, daughter of Wil- 
liam McClintock, one of the original immigrants. He was 
born in Newport, R. I., Nov. 18, 1748, but most of his early 
life was spent in Boston, where his father kept a retail 
grocery. His early training was obtained in Lovell's Latin 

Preface v 

School. At the age of fifteen, after a brief experience in 
a shop, he was sent to Dr. Wheelock's school at Lebanon, 
Conn., to prepare to become a missionary to the In- 
dians. In 1765 he entered Yale College, and graduated 
in 1769, in the same class with the elder President 
Dwight. The late Rev. E. H. Gillett, D.D., in an article 
in Hours at Home, Feb., 1870, entitled " Yale College 
One Hundred Years Ago," gives a few extracts from 
letters of McClure and his schoolmate, David Avery. 
The former, under date of Oct. 30, 1765, writes to Dr. 
Wheelock of the dreadful way in which Freshmen are 
handled by the upper-class men. " Freshmen," says he, 
" have attained almost the happiness of slaves." Oct. 
30, 1767, he writes : " Jonne [John Wheelock, later Presi- 
dent of Dartmouth College, then a Freshman at Yale] has 
been ordered up once or twice into the long garret with 
the rest of his class, and I think twice alone. . . It 
gives me great grief to see such practices held up in this 
seat of learning, and so little religious manners prevalent." 
In another letter, written after his experience among the 
Oneida Indians, he says : " Mr. Johnson and I rarely 
converse in any other language [than Indian]. I hope 
not to lose what little I have already attained." As his 
diary also shows, his intention to be a missionary to the 
Indians was always before his mind. Later in his college 
course he writes about Dr. Daggett as follows : " The 
Rev. President and tutors are universally loved in Col- 
lege, and have a tender concern for our future as well as 
present welfare and happiness." 

After graduation, McClure took charge of Moor's 
Charity School at Lebanon, Conn. In 1770 he moved 
with the school to Hanover, N. H., where he was head of 
the school and tutor in Dartmouth College. In May, 
1772, he and Frisbie were ordained to go as mission- 
aries to the Delaware Indians on the Muskingum River, 
in Ohio, the expenses of the mission being supplied by a 



society in Scotland. Owing to the unsettled conditions 
in that region preceding the outbreak of the Revolution, 
the mission proved a failure, and in 1773 McClure returned 
to New Hampshire, where he was installed pastor of the 
church at North Hampton in 1776. Dec. 10, 1780, he 
married Hannah Pomeroy, daughter of Rev. Dr. Ben- 
jamin Pomeroy, of Hebron, Conn., and niece of President 
Wheelock. She died in 1814, and in 18 16 he married 
Mrs. Betsy Martin, of Providence, R. I., who survived 
him. In 1786 he was installed as pastor at East Windsor, 
Conn., where he also established a school. In 1798 his 
voice failed. After this he preached only occasionally, 
and finally, in 1807, resigned his salary, and in 1809 
his pastorate, but continued to teach school almost if not 
quite to the time of his death. He was always deeply 
interested in Dartmouth College, and personally in its 
first President, his old teacher, Rev. Eleazer Wheelock, 
D.D. In 1777 he became a trustee of the college, and in 
1800 it conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor 
of Divinity. In 1795 he published a volume of Sermons 
on the Decalogue (Beach & Jones, Hartford). In 181 1, in 
conjunction with Dr. Parish, he wrote Memoirs of Rev. 
Eleazer Wheelock. In 18 18 appeared a second volume 
of his sermons, entitled Sermons on the Moral Law (printed 
and published by Wm. S. Marsh, Hartford). He also 
wrote a History of East Windsor. 

In Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, Dr. McClure 
is described as a small man, well formed, and with very 
attractive manners, a man of culture and scholarship. 
He was a good preacher, and his sermons, contrary to 
the tendencies of his day, were moral and practical, not 

He died at East Windsor, Conn., June 25, 1820. 

John P. Peters. 

Beth Shalom, 
July 10, 1899. 



MY remote Ancestors, I have been informed, were orig- 
inally Scottish Highlanders, who passed over to 
the North of Ireland & settled there about the time of 
King James ist in the beginning of the 17th Century. 

My Grandfather Samuel McClure came with a young 
family to Boston, from the North of Ireland, about Anno 
1729 with a number of families of Christians, who emi- 
grated from oppression in their native country to this 
land of civil & religious liberty. 1 The Rev. John Moor- 
head s was their minister. 

Religion was the first object of this little company. 
They purchased a lot of land for a meeting House, in 
what is now called Federal Street? & formed themselves 
into a Church, according to the plan of the presbyterian 
Church of Scotland. My Grandfather was the first Deacon 
of said Church, 4 in which Office my Father succeeded. 
He lived & died in the house in which the celebrated 

1 About 120 Scotch-Irish Presbyterian families emigrated from the north 
of Ireland to Boston in August, 1718 ; the supplementary emigration here 
described probably took place in 1727 or 1728. [The oppression referred to 
was excessive tithes. In 1729 government instituted an inquiry into the 
cause of the alarming emigration to America. J. P. P.] 

2 See Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, iii, 44—46. 

3 A permanent house was built in 1744, a cut of which is given in the 
Memorial Hist, of Boston, ii, 513 ; Long Lane, on which it stood, was 
named Federal Street after the building was used for the meetings of the 
State Convention which accepted the Federal Constitution in 1788. 

4 Elected on July 14, 1730. 


2 Diary of 

Dr. Franklin was born, in Milk Street, opposite the Old 
South meeting house. 1 My Father John McClure was 
young at the time of their arrival. My Mother was 
Rachel McClintock, daughter of William McClintock, who 
came from the North of Ireland, & county of London 
Derry, with the company before mentioned. He pur- 
chased a farm in the North part of Medford about 6 miles 
from Boston, where he lived until 1769, & died aged 90. 
He was shut up in Londonderry at the age of 7 years, 
with his parents, at the time when it was besieged 2 by an 
army of papists commanded by King James 2nd & suf- 
fered all the horrors of famine. He was a laborious & 
pious man & brought up a large family. His son Samuel 
settled in the ministry in Greenland, New Hampshire, & 
died 1802, universally respected, as a faithful minister of 
the Gospel & an eminent divine. 3 The College of New 
Haven conferred on him the degree of a Doctorate of 
Divinity. From him I received much instruction in the 
early part of my ministry. A Brother of my Grandfather 
McClure came over with him, & settled in Brookfield, Mass. 
His name was David. My father had a numerous family 
of nine sons & four daughters. Twelve lived to the age 
of manhood. My Mother died in Boston in 1764,* & the 
youngest child Ruth, about 3 months old, soon followed 
her. My Father died Aug. 30, 1768. 6 A numerous family 
of orphans were now left. The two youngest were twins, 
aged about 8 years. In a remarkable manner did we ex- 
perience the fulfilment of the gracious promise, Ps. 27. 10, 
" When my father & mother forsake me, then the Lord 

1 This house was occupied by Dr. Franklin's father from 1685 to 1712, 
and was destroyed by fire in 1810. A view of it is given in the Memorial 
Hist, of Boston, ii, 272, and a description in the same volume, pp. 269, 

9 April- August, 1690. 

3 Born 1732, B.A., Princeton, 1751, died 1804. SeeSprague's Annals of 
the Amer. Pulpit, i, 525-28, and Brewster's Rambles about Portsmouth, ii, 
160-66. 4 Read 1765. 8 Read 1769. 

David McClure 3 

will take me up." We had the special advantage of a re- 
ligious education & government in early life. Our parents 
gave us the best school education that their circumstances 
would allow. The children who could walk were obliged 
regularly to attend public worship on the Sabbath, & 
spend the interval in learning the Shorter & the Larger 
Westminster Catechisms, & committing to memory some 
portion of the Scriptures. My mother commonly heard us 
repeat the catechisms on Sunday evenings. My parents de- 
parted with the supporting hope of salvation through the 
glorious Redeemer. In her expiring moments my mother 
gave her blessing & her prayers to each of her children, in 
order. She had many friends who mourned her death. She 
was favored with a good degree of health & was very cheer- 
ful, active & laborious, in the arduous task of raising, with 
slender means, a large family. To the labours of our 
worthy minister the Rev. Mr. Moorhead, we were much 
indebted for early impression of religious sentiments. His 
practice was frequently to catechize the Children & youth 
at the meeting House & at their homes & converse &pray 
with them. He also visited & catechized the heads of all 
the families of his congregation, statedly. While New 
Port in Rhode Island was in a flourishing state, My Father 
concluded to move there, with the expectation of better- 
ing his worldly circumstances. He continued there a few 
years disappointed in his expectation & displeased with 
the loose and irreligious state of the place, although they 
found many pious christians there, he returned to Boston 
with his family when I was a child.' In Boston my Father 
carried on a small trade & kept a retailing shop of gro- 
ceries. I read the Bible through, when very young, & 

1 The baptism of two children of John and Rachel McClure is on record in 
the First Congregational Church in Bristol (which is upwards of twelve 
miles north of Newport, on the mainland), viz., Rachel, Febr. I, 1746-47, 
and David (the author of this Diary), Dec. 18, 1748. There were then two 
Congregational churches in Newport, but probably the Bristol church was 
more acceptable in doctrine or practice to Mr. McClure. 

4 Diary of 

was fond of books. Perceiving my inclination my father 
put me to the latin grammar school then under the care 
of the famous Master Lovell. 1 Here I continued about 
two years * when my father meeting with losses found he 
could not give me an education & put me into a store of 
Mr. Henry Dearing, near the market, 3 who traded both 
wholesale & retail in english goods. There was an elder 
apprentice in the store. Mr. Dearing was a single gentle- 
man & was dissipated, gay & profane, he paid but little 
attention to his business, & after some years failed. In 
the spring of 1764 the small pox went through the town. 
I left Mr. Dearing & went to my father — to receive the 
disorder, where I was inoculated with ten of my brothers & 
sisters, & by the goodness of God we all had it favourably. 
After my recovery Mr. Dearing wished me to return, 
but as it was disagreeable to me, particularly on account 
of Mr. D.'s conduct, my father did not insist. I wished 
to pursue learning but for some time found no way to 
succeed. Just at this time the worthy Mr. Moorhead 
came to my father's & showed him a letter which he had 
received from the Rev. Mr. Wheelock of Lebanon in 
Connecticut, 4 who had set up a school there for the 
education of Indian Youths & also for the reception of 
English young men to educate them for missionaries, 
requesting him to propose one or two youths to go. 
Mr. Moorhead proposed to me to go. The incident 
seemed providential. My parents manifested a willing- 

1 John Lovell, born 1708, graduated at Harvard 1728, Master of the Bos- 
ton Latin School from 1738 to 1775. For his portrait see the Memorial 
History 0/ Boston, ii, 401. The school building stood at this time on School 
Street, on the site now covered by the east end of the Parker House. 

» I759" 01 - 

3 Faneuil Hall (rebuilt 1762-63). 

* Eleazar Wheelock, born in Windham, Conn., 171 1 ; graduated at Yale, 
1733 J ordained pastor of the Second Parish in Lebanon, now Columbia, 
Conn., 1735. After having had private pupils for many years, he began a 
school for Indians in 1754. 

David McClure 5 

ness : I considered the proposal, & while I desired an 
education to qualify me for usefulness, I felt also an op- 
pression that I should not incline to go among the Indians. 
The Idea of wild Indians was an impression on youthful 
minds at that time of some degree of terror, as they had 
spread desolation among the English settlements. I got 
the life of Mr. Sargeant, who laboured for the instruction 
& salvation of the Housitonic Indians, & was much pleased 
with the history. 1 I concluded it to be my duty to accept 
the invitation ; & accordingly at the age of 15 years June 
1764 I embarked on a coaster amidst the tears & affec- 
tionate embraces of my Mother & the blessing of my Fa- 
ther. After about 5 days sail we arrived at New London, 
without any remarkable occurrence except the eminent 
danger of running upon a sunken rock, in a high gale, 
near Long Island, which the mate discovered just season- 
ably enough to pass it. He was leaning against the boom 
& singing Watts Saphic Ode, " When the fierce north 
Wind with its airy forces"" 1 &c, when he discovered the 
danger ahead by the smoothness of the water over the 
rock, & crying out a Rock, a Rock, he instantly altered 
the vessel's course. In the course of my life how many 
instances of danger I have experienced ! The good hand 
of God is our safeguard against dangers which are seen & 
innumerable that are unseen by us ! After paying my 
passage I had no more than about half a dollar s & was 
now more than thirty miles from Mr. Wheelock's. In the 

1 The book referred to was Historical Memoirs, relating to the Housatun- 
nuck Indians, compiled by the Rev. Samuel Hopkins from the papers of the 
Rev. John Sergeant, and published in Boston in 1753, pp. iv, 182. Mr. 
Sergeant was a graduate of Yale in 1729, who had labored as a missionary 
among the Indians in Great Barrington and Stockbridge, Mass., from 1735 
until his death in 1749. Jonathan Edwards was his successor. 

2 The opening line of "The Day of Judgment, An Ode," in Book I of 
Isaac Watts's Horce Lyricce, first published in 1706. 

3 At the presumed date of composition of this passage (1805) the dollar 
was a current term ; in 1764 the writer reckoned in shillings. 

6 Diary of 

morning I went into a house in the border of the town & 
asked for a pint of milk to which the good woman of the 
house bade me welcome, & with a biscuit, which I had 
bought, I made a comfortable breakfast. Finding a boat 
going up the river Thames to Norwich landing 14 miles, 
I put my small chest on board, & arrived at Mr. Whita- 
ker's the minister of the place, 1 to whom I had a letter of 
introduction from Mr. Moorhead. The next morning 
Mr. Whitaker kindly gave me directions to find the road, 
& taking a small bundle of clothes & a staff, I set out to 
walk alone to Lebanon crank, 3 distant more than 20 miles. 
The verdant fields & well cultivated farms on every side 
afforded a delightful prospect to cheer the gloom of soli- 
tude. I arrived at Lebanon Crank, late in the afternoon, 
& the objects which presented were a number of Indian 
& English youth playing on the spacious green before 
Mr. Wheelock's house & the School House. I was kindly 
& affectionately received by the worthy family. Mr. 
Wheelock was then on a journey to Boston. Mr. Samuel 
Kirkland, 3 then a member of New Jersey College, was 
very kind & attentive to me, & the young gentlemen, 
members of the school, took so much notice of me as ex- 
pelled the unpleasant feelings of a stranger, & I seemed 
to be at home & surrounded with respectful & cordial 
friends. The second day I entered upon my studies in 
the school, in the class composed of John McClarren 
Breed, David Avery, Josiah Dunham & John Hall. 
Josiah Pomeroy afterwards joined us. 4 Mr. Lothrop* 

1 The Rev. Nathaniel Whitaker (Princeton Coll., 1752) was a special 
friend of Mr. Wheelock's. 

2 The northern parish in the town of Lebanon, now the town of Colum- 
bia ; the local name, Lebanon Crank, was probably descriptive of the bent 
or crooked outline of the parish boundaries. 

3 Born in 1741, B.A., Princeton, 1765. 

4 Breed was graduated at Yale in 1768 (President Dwight of Yale is his. 
grandson) ; Avery and Hall in 1769 ; and Pomeroy in 1770. Dunham died 
while an undergraduate in Yale, class of 1769. 

B Now the Rev. John Lothrop, D.D., in Boston. [Note by the author.} 

David McClure 7 

had the care of Moor's School. 1 The school consisted of 
about 30, one half Indian youths & boys from different 
tribes & the other half were English, some fitting for 
missionaries, & others independent preparing for College. 
Mr. Ralph Wheelock, member of New Jersey College, 2 
whom I had seen at my father's in Boston, arrived & 
showed me much kindness. The Rev. Mr. Wheelock re- 
turned from Boston, & to the end of the period of my 
living under his care, was to me a Father, patron & bene- 
factor. The remembrance of him, & his disinterested & 
benevolent works & piety will be always pleasing & most 
grateful. May I be permitted though in some humble 
station, far below him, to adore & serve the blessed Re- 
deemer in heaven ! My advantages for improvement in 
learning in the School were good. Mr. Wheelock thought 
it necessary that his pupils, designed for missionaries, 
should be initiated in the practical knowledge of hus- 
bandry, accordingly we sometimes went into the field & 
worked a little while. But neither the theory or practice 
of husbandry were familiar to me. Brought up in Boston 
I scarcely knew the difference of a plow from a harrow, & 
it was long before the names of the different implements 
became known to me, & my blunders & mistakes some- 
times caused some diversion. As my constitution was not 
calculated for labour, I did not do much. I had acquired 
the skill of good writing under the instruction of Master 
Abiah Holbrook in Boston who was the most celebrated 
writer of his day, & whose school s I attended seven years ; 
my leisure hours from study were generally spent in copy- 

1 In 1755 Colonel Joshua More, or Moor, a wealthy farmer of the neigh- 
boring town of Mansfield, at Mr. Wheelock's solicitation gave to him and 
other trustees a foundation for a Charity School in Lebanon for the instruc- 
tion of Indians, which was conducted by Wheelock from that date, and was 
finally merged in his larger enterprise, Dartmouth College. 

2 He entered Yale the next fall, and was graduated there in 1765. 

3 Kept on the Common. He died in 1769, aged 51 years. See Bridg- 
man's Pilgrims of Boston, 1 16. 

8 Diary of 

ing letters for Mr. Wheelock. Other qualifications of a 
missionary were thought necessary, such as to lodge hard, & 
live on plain & wholesome fare. We reposed on Straw 
Beds in Bunks & generally dined on a boiled dish & an 
Indian pudding. Mr. Wheelock was laborious in his 
instructions of his pupils, in the principles of religion. 
Early in the morning at the blowing of a shell we assem- 
bled in the hall of his house a chapter was read by the 
students, after Mr. Wheelock had presented a short peti- 
tion to the throne of grace he then expounded some pas- 
sages or conversed on some doctrines & practical subjects 
of religion & made a prayer. The same religious service 
was also performed in the evening, with singing a psalm 
or hymns in the evening. His discourses were generally 
awakening, drawn from the justice, holiness & terrors of 
the law, of repentance, faith & holy love & obedience to 
God on the plan of the Gospel. There were several 
seasons of serious awakenings among the students, & 
the people of the society, & of hopeful conversions & a 
number of both were admitted into the Church. Of the 
latter, myself was one. From a child my conscience was 
tender and fearful of doing wrong, & I had been in the 
habit of prayer & attention to the word, & thought I had 
great pleasure in religious duty. My hope & confidence 
in former knowledge & experience was however much 
shaken by Mr. Wheelock. He perceived my anxiety & 
conversed at times alone with me in his study, & I now 
humbly hope his instructions were divinely blest. I read 
the books of pious instruction, the lives of the pious Mr. 
Halliburton, President Edwards, D. Brainard & others to 
edification. Mr. Wheelock advised me to join the Church 
in communion which I did with several of my fellow stu- 
dents, between the ages of 16 & 17 years. In the autumn 
of 1765 I went to New Haven with three of my fellow 
students & was examined & admitted into the Freshman 
Class at Yale College then under the presidency of the 

David McClure 9 

Rev. Mr. Clapp. My class recited to the president during 
the first winter. He was eminent in mathematics & phil- 
osophical science & esteemed a good scholar in universal 
learning. He was plain & simple in his manners & in his 
dress & address. His government partook rather of aus- 
terity than mildness, & age ' probably had made him less 
indulgent to the foibles of his pupils. He was severe 
against those who had once offended & easily imposed 
on by those who were disposed to conciliate his good will 
or flatter him. In the Spring of the Year the prejudices 
of the scholars ran to such a height that a petition to the 
Corporation for his dismission was signed by all the 
classes. The Corporation met & the president resigned 
his Office. 8 He died the next year. His death was sup- 
posed by many to have been hastened by the mortifica- 
tion of a resignation & by relinquishing the regular and 
uniform habits which he had pursued through the long 
period of his presidency. Many of us of the Freshman 
Class were hastily, & by the overpowering authority & in- 
fluence of the Senior Class persuaded to the remonstrance. 
For myself, I was afterwards sorry, for he had been par- 
ticularly attentive to my Class & to me & one other, in 
particular, as he condescended to attend to us to hear an 
extra recitation about 3 evenings in the week at his own 
house. In consequence of the revolution at College the 
students were dispersed through part of the following 
summer, and Mr. Kirkland being about to go on a mis- 
sion to the Indians at Onoida, I embraced his invitation 
to accompany him with a view to teach a school of Indian 

1 President Clap was born in June, 1703, and was therefore at this time in 
his 63d year. 

5 The petition for Clap's removal was drawn up in February, 1766. a »d 
was signed by all but two or three of the students. In March the tutors re- 
signed, and when the Corporation met in April, College was largely deserted. 
Such as remained were provided with instruction, and when the Corporation 
next met, on July 1, the President handed in his resignation. He died six 
months later, on January 7, 1767. 

io Diary of 

Children, to obtain some knowledge of their language, & 
if opportunity favored to attend the course of collegiate 
study at Onoida with him. 

July 7, 1766. — Set out from Lebanon Crank for Onoida 
in company with Messrs. Kirkland, Aaron Kenne, 1 Te- 
conda a Seneca chief who came with Mr. Kirkland to 
Lebanon not long before, 3 & three Indian lads. We tar- 
ried several days at Col. Butler's 3 near the seat of Sir 
William Johnson, 4 rode once or twice to his house. Sir 
William lived in elegance. There saw a number of In- 
dians to whom his steward liberally gave provisions & 
rum. Dined with Sir William who was very hospitable 
& social. He walked lame in consequence of a musket 
ball which lodged in his thigh at the famous battle of 
Niagara in 1759 when he obtained the victory over an 
army of French & Indians commanded by Baron Dies- 
kaw. 6 The ball had worked down & lodged in the mus- 
cular parts of the knee. He had a very handsome Indian 
Concubine, said to be the sister of Joseph Brant. By her 
he had several likely looking children. 8 About this time 

1 Aaron Kinne had graduated the previous summer at Yale, and had since 
been studying under Mr. Wheelock. He died in 1824, after a long life of 
useful ministerial labor. 

2 Samuel Kirkland had spent upwards of a year (from January, 1765) as a 
missionary among the Senecas, in Western New York, returning to Leba- 
non seven weeks before this. He was ordained in this interval. 

3 For an engraving of the residence of Colonel John Butler, in what is 
now Fonda, see Lossing's Field-Book of the Revolution, i, 285. 

4 Johnson was born in Ireland in 1715, and came to America in 1738 to 
superintend an estate purchased by his uncle in the Mohawk valley, some 
thirty miles northwest of Albany. A few years later he built a handsome 
residence in the same vicinity, in what is now Johnstown, Fulton County, 
where he lived in intimacy with the Indians, speaking their language and ac- 
quiring a greater influence among them than was ever acquired by any other 
white man. 

B This happened at the battle of Lake George on Sept. 8, 1755, when 
Johnson was in command as Major-General. In recognition of this service 
he was made a baronet in November, 1755. 

6 Two sons and six daughters by her are remembered in his will. Cf. 
Stone's Life of Johnson, ii, 496-97. 

David McClure n 

he sent a son that he had by another squaw named Wm. 
Johnson to Doctor Wheelock's School. Col. Butler had 
a son (Walter) at Mr. Wheelock's School. He was a 
sprightly boy. In the revolutionary war, he, & the In- 
dian son of Sir William, before mentioned, were active 
partisans against the Americans, & both died or were 
killed. 1 The Inhabitants of this country were Dutch, & 
great part of them tenants & very ignorant. Near Col. 
Butler's, was a stone church, in which however the people 
rarely assembled for worship. They had no settled min- 
ister in that part of the country. The Dutch minister at 
Albany occasionally visited them, to baptize their chil- 
dren. The low state of religion may be inferred from the 
following circumstance. Near Col. Butler's lived a worthy 
dutch farmer who was a Justice of peace & Deacon of 
the church. I was treated with great hospitality at his 
house. The Rev. Mr. K. & myself one day spent the 
afternoon with him & took tea. Deacon Canine in- 
termixed profanity with his conversation which was im- 
perfect english. The next day I was at his house, he 
asked me who it was I had with me there, the preceed- 
ing day. When I informed him that it was a clergyman 
from New England he said, " I am devilish sorry / did 
swear, for I think it is wrong to swear before the Domine." 
On my return to Col. Butler's some months after, Mr. 
Chamberlain, 1 missionary to the Indians, happened to be 
there & 5 or 6 Dutch heads of families came to have their 
children baptized ; they brought a company of God-fathers 
& God-mothers, & Mr. C. declining to baptize them, unless 
the parents, instead of God-fathers, would take upon them 

1 For the discreditable career of Walter Butler and his father, see Sabine's 
American Loyalists, 2d ed., i, 278-80. The father was responsible for the 
Wyoming massacre in 1778, and the son for the Cherry Valley massacre 
later in the same year. 

2 Theophilus Chamberlain, B.A., Yale, 1765, who was ordained for mis- 
sionary work at Lebanon before his graduation, and remained among the 
Six Nations in Central New York for two years. 

12 Diary of 

the solemn vows of bringing up their children in the know- 
ledge of God & the practice of religion, they took offence 
& after much altercation in their own language, among 
themselves, they all departed, without the ordinance. 
Having received much kindness from Col. Butler & fam- 
ily we set out for Onoida. We passed through the fine 
country of the german flatts, 1 & the upper settlements of 
the Castle of the Mohawks called Cagnawaga. From the 
German flatts we had a wilderness of about 40 miles to 
the place of our destination. This then uninhabited 
country is now (1805) popular & opulent, & commonly 
called the White'stown Country. Night overtook us be- 
fore we could get through. We groped in the darkness, 
among the trees to find the path. Mr. Kirkland, who had 
lived a considerable time among the Indians, late in the 
evening said he believed, we were not far from an Indian 
encampment, as he smelled smoke. He hallowed or 
yelled, in the indian manner, several times, & was an- 
swered by a corresponding yell forward. We proceeded 
& soon discovered a light. We came to it, & found an 
Indian & his squaw & one or two children ; the woman & 
children lay on boughs of trees around the fire, covered 
with blankets. The man was sitting before the fire, roast- 
ing, upon sticks stuck in the ground, a small animal that 
appeared like a Racoon. Weary & sleepy I was about to 
wrap myself in my great coat & lie down to rest. But 
Kirkland observed that it was contrary to rules of Indian 
politeness for strangers to encamp where females slept at 
the same fire. Taking a burning brand we went some 
rods distant & kindled a small fire, principally as a defence 
against swarms of mosquitoes & a very small fly, called gnat. 
I passed the night without much sleep. A wide branching 
tree protected us from the dew. After returning thanks 

1 A township, still having the same name, and including the town of Ilion, 
in Herkimer County, 15 miles southeast of Utica ; the first settlers were 
Germans from the Palatinate, about 1723. 

David McClure 13 

to God for his protecting care of us, we looked up our 
horses & set forward early in the morning & reached an 
Indian town ' about 6 miles from the place where we had 
lodged. This town was called the Old Onoida Castle & 
contained fifteen or 20 log houses & bark houses. The 
Indians there had always shewn an aversion from attempts 
to Christianize them. We entered a house in which we 
were entertained with hospitality, perhaps from the expec- 
tation of receiving presents, which we bestowed at our de- 
parture. We carried some small articles of provisions 
with us, with which we refreshed ourselves. I was agree- 
ably surprised to see the squaw of the house pour from a 
tea pot some tolerable tea for our breakfast. We let our 
horses loose & stung & tormented by the large fly, they 
ran furiously in all directions. My horse seeing the door 
of an Indian house open, to get clear of his bloodthirsty 
enemies rushed into it. I immediately followed & caught 
him & found the women & children within in a great 
fright. I apologized for the intrusion & they answered in 
their language, which was as unintelligible to me, as mine 
to them. The aversion of the human heart to the holy 
religion of the Saviour, has been strikingly evidenced by 
the Indians of this town, in their rejection of repeated 
offers of missionaries & School masters. They chose to 
remain in pagan darkness. The Onoida resided princi- 
pally in two towns about 10 miles apart. That to which 
we were going, cordially accepted Mr. Kirkland's offer to 
instruct them. They had been before taught by protes- 
tant missionaries, particularly the worthy Messrs. Barcley 
& Ogilvie, 2 & before them by romish priests from Canada. 
July 23. — We arrived at the upper castle or village of 

1 In the present township of Kirtland. 

2 The Rev. Henry Barclay (B.A., Yale, 1734) served as Missionary from 
the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Mohawks from 1736 
to 1746. The Rev. John Ogilvie (B.A., Yale, 1748) succeeded him from 
1750 to I75g. 

1 4 Diary of 

the Onoidas called Canawahrookhahre. 1 It contained 
about 40 dwelling houses of bark or logs. The Indians 
received us with kindness. Mr. K. conversed with them 
in their language. There was a small church made of 
hewed logs, in which they met on the Sabbath, & Mr. 
Kirkland after preaching a few Sabbaths by an interpre- 
ter, preached in their own language. I began to learn 
their language, & by Mr. K.'s assistance, we formed a 
kind of grammar of it. The conjugation of verbs through 
moods and tenses is somewhat in the manner of the He- 
brew. The persons of the verbs are distinguished com- 
monly by the change of a Syllable at or near the beginning 
of the word. Ex. 

Wah-wah-tu-vat-hah : I am going a hunting. 
Wah-jah-tu-vat-hah : You are going a hunting. 
Wah-hat-tu-vat-hah : He is going, etc. 

Wit-tu-wah-tu-vat-hah, We are going a hunting. 
Wit-tu-jah-tu-vat-hah, Ye are going, &c. 
Wit-tu-hat-tu-vat-hah, They are going a hunting. 

Like the Greeks, their verbs have the dual number. The 

5 nations speak different dialects of the same radical lan- 
guage. The Tuskarora language is different. Soon after 
my arrival I opened a school & kept it in the Church. It 
consisted of about 20 children & youths of both sexes 
from 6 to 20 years old. They appeared fond of learning 

6 made as good proficiency, as the same number of white 
children would, who were equally ignorant of the first ele- 
ments of language. They soon learned the letters, espe- 
cially the elder ones, & to write & combine syllables in 
spelling. The Rev. Mr. Barcley, formerly missionary, 
had translated into Mohawk several chapters of the Old 
& New Testament, a catechism & devotional hymns, 

1 In the present township of Vernon, Oneida County, 15 miles west of 
Utica 4 

David McClure 15 

printed in a bound volume. 1 Good Peter, 3 who was after- 
wards one of Mr. Kirkland's Deacons, had learned to read 
it. He was a good singer & on the Sabbath at worship 
read the lines, & the Indians united in the psalmody. The 
advantage of learning the Indians the English was princi- 
pally that they might be able to read that book in their 
own language. I was treated with respect & kindness by 
the Indians, & was not a little pleased with the orderly 
behaviour & good proficiency of my little pagan pupils. 
While teaching them English I acquired from them a 
knowledge of the Indian names of things. I was once 
a little alarmed by the rush of an Indian mad with rage 
& rum into the Church, while I was engaged in teaching. 
He came up to me & seemed, by threatenings & his wild 
gestures about to offer me violence. My Indian Children 
were terrified & began to run out. I ordered them back 
to their seats. I was apprehensive that the Indian had a 
knife under his blanket. While considering how I should 
defend myself from the rage of the wretch who I had 
never seen before, nor ever knew the cause of his wrath, 
if any cause, but the instigation of the Devil, . . . 
providentially, a stout young Indian came hastily to 
my relief, & coming behind him clasped him in his arms, 
& after some struggling forced him out. At another 
time, at midnight, in the absence of Mr. K. an Indian 
lad being with me in the house, a drunken Indian burst 
open the door & came in, but offered no violence. The 
miserable condition of the savage state appears in the 

1 This description does not correspond to any known existing volume. A 
translation (by L. Claesse, Interpreter) of the English Liturgy, Catechism, 
and several chapters of the Old and New Testament was printed in New 
York in 1715 ; and reprinted, without the chapters from the Bible, at Boston 
in 1763. The only similar volume in which Dr. Barclay is known to have 
been concerned was not published until 1769, and this, like those just named, 
contained no hymns. 

2 His miniature is in the Yale Art School, painted by John Trumbull in 
1792, when he visited Philadelphia with other sachems for a conference with 
the government. 

1 6 Diary of 

dreadful disorders which their uncontrolled passions 
produce without the necessary restraints of law & gov- 

Aug. — Rode with Mr. Kirkland to Fort Stanwix about 
13 miles. There were a few soldiers there under the com- 
mand of a british Lieut'. The Fort was in a decayed 
condition. 1 On our return the darkness of the night 
stopped our journey. There was no path. A new path 
had been marked by the Indians, by cutting the bark of 
the trees. We groaped after the marked trees until about 
1 1 o'clock, when we came to a fire, around which lay five 
Indian men. They were the unfriendly Indians of the 
Old Onoida Castle. Mr. Kirkland conversed with one of 
them who was awake & had answered the calls or the 
yells which Mr. Kirkland had made some time before we 
reached this encampment. Mr. Kirkland did not seem 
well pleased with the company. The sleeping Indians 
were sheltered by a bark covering from the dews. Ob- 
serving a vacancy between two of them, I wrapped myself 
in my great coat & lay down with my feet to the fire. As 
there were no females in the encampment, the ceremony 
of kindling a fire by ourselves, was dispensed with. I 
awoke & found an Indian up & supplying the fire with 
bark. They offered us no insult, although they appeared 
not pleased with our company. A little after the day 
dawned, we mounted our horses & arrived home in safety. 
Not long after we had a similar adventure in returning 
from the same place, when we slept on the ground with- 
out shelter, near a dry tree that was burning on the 

After passing some time very agreeably at Onoida, with 
Mr. Kirkland & having experienced much respect & kind- 
ness from the Indians & particularly from the aged Widow 
of the late Sachem of the Onoida, who adopted me for 

' Built in 1758, under the direction of General John Stanwix, on the site 
of the present city of Rome, on the Mohawk River. 

David McClure 17 

her son & desired me to call her Mother, I set out the last 
of November, 1766, to return to my studies at Lebanon. 
An Indian young man Joseph Johnson of Mohegan & 
member of the school came with me to the German Flatts. 
We were not able to reach the settlements before the 
darkness came upon us. We stopped at a place where 
there had been an Indian encampment & striking up a 
fire, we rested for the night, the next morning we rode 
about six miles & came to a house where we got refresh- 
ment & Joseph returned to Onoida, to take the care of the 
School, which I had began there. 

The night following, I lodged at the house of a Dutch 
farmer in the lower part of the German Flatts. His 
house was small & his barn was large & full of Wheat & 
Hay. At supper the family which was numerous, were 
seated around a large table, in the center of which was a 
wooden bowl full of boiled milk & bread & a spoon for 
each of us. The head of the family, Wife & children 
made a pause before they began, the Man took his cap 
from his head & appeared to be asking a blessing, & each 
one was engaged in the same devotion. We all dipped 
our spoons into the same great bowl, & I made a com- 
fortable supper. The manners of the family & mode of 
living seemed to bare a resemblance to the simplicity & 
hospitality of the patriarchal Age. In the morning I pre- 
sented the Landlady with a pair of scissors which I had 
in my pocket book, for the trouble of entertaining me, 
with which they were pleased. 

I overtook an Irishman on foot, to whom I offered a led 
horse which I had taken to accommodate an Indian boy 
that I expected to go with me from the Mohawk Coun- 
try to Mr. Wheelock's School. We travelled together & 
his conversation was pleasing. He appeared to under- 
stand the scriptures & repeated several devotional hymns. 
Towards evening we parted. He had 15 miles to go to 
reach his home, which was on the waters of the Susque- 

1 8 Diary of 

hanna. Confiding in his honesty, although a stranger, I 
lent him the horse, on his promise to send him the next 
morning to the place forward on my road, which I pro- 
posed. The next morning I found the horse returned 
agreeable to his promise, & felt thankful to find an honest 
man, whom I had obliged, among strangers. 

Dec. St/i. — After a long & uncomfortable journey, I ar- 
rived with a Mohawk boy at Lebanon & was kindly bid 
welcome, by my honored patron. 

As advantages for the pursuit of classical & mathemat- 
ical studies were good at Lebanon, it was thought best 
for myself & classmates Avery & Johnson ' to spend the 
winter at the School. Mr. Woodward, afterwards pro- 
fessor at Dartm? College 2 was our Tutor. 

1767. June. — I returned to join my class at Yale Col- 
lege. Mr. Dagget, Professor of Divinity, was appointed 
President, pro tempore.' At our examination, the Presi- 
dent was disposed to be a little humourous, and said, " McC. 
as you have been among the Indians & studied their lan- 
guage, I will examine you a little into your progress in 
that branch of science. What is name of River, in the 
Mohawk? " I could not instantly recollect it, but thought 
the name for water would answer, which I well remem- 
bered, & accordingly gave it, which I should not have 
done, had I not known that he knew nothing of the lan- 
guage. He replied, " that is right." To one or two more 
questions I gave answers, some right & some no doubt 
wrong, & neither President or Tutors could correct it. 

Sept. 23. — After commencement returned to Lebanon. 
Went to Boston with Elijah Peck. Oct. 21. — Returned to 
Yale College with classmate D. Avery. 1768. Feby. 14. — 
Came to Lebanon, pursued my studies there under Mr. 

1 David Avery (see above, p. 6) had a long and influential career in the 
ministry, dying in 1818. Samuel Johnson became a minister, but early 
joined the Shakers, and died in New Lebanon, N. Y., in 1835. 

2 Bezaleel Woodward, B.A., Yale, 1764. 

3 He held this office from October, 1766, to March, 1777. 

David McClure 19 

Woodward. 1 Sept. 9. — Levi Frisbie a & myself returned 
to College. Resided at College the Senior year. My 
room mates were Nathan Strong, now D.D., Phineas 
Fanning, Levi Hubbell. 8 1769. Sept. 13. — Took my first 
Degree at Yale College. By the appointment of my 
Class, I delivered the Valedictory Oration previous to 
our departure to prepare for the Commencement. 4 De- 
fended a Latin Syllogistic Thesis, at the Commencement. 
About this time, the Colonies came into a non-importa- 
tion agreement oi goods from Great Britain in consequence 
of the Stamp Act & other arbitrary acts of the British 
parliament. The Class agreed with 3 or 4 dissensients, to 
appear in home made clothes at the Commencement. 5 
We were put to some difficulty to obtain all the articles 
of american manufacture. Inspired with a patriotic spirit, 
we took pride in our plain coarse republican dress, & 
were applauded by the friends of Liberty. 

On my return to Lebanon, Dr. Wheelock was pleased 
to commit to my care Moore's School, in which I contin- 
ued until the School removed to Hanover. Part of my 
time was taken up with the School accounts. 

Sept. 21, 1769. — Set out for Boston with J. Wheelock 
& Ripley. 6 

1 See page 163. [Author's note.] 

2 Frisbie spent his senior year at Dartmouth College, graduating with the 
first class there in 1771. 

3 Dr. Strong was pastor of the First Church, Hartford, Conn., from 1774 
to his death in 1816 ; Fanning, of Riverhead, L. I., died in 1796 ; Hubbell, 
■of Sherman, Conn., died in 1773. 

4 At this time, and for a hundred years later at Yale College, the senior 
class finished its work some weeks before the public commencement. An 
oration delivered before the class at this time, by one of their own number 
selected by his classmates, was long known as the Valedictory Oration ; but 
for the past century has been called the Class Oration. 

5 A result of the policy of non-importation agreements which came in 
vogue in 1767 in response to the Townshend Revenue Acts. 

6 John Wheelock, Dr. Wheelock's second son, and Sylvanus Ripley, who 
married his youngest daughter, were both members of the first graduating 
•class at Dartmouth College in 1771. 

20 Diary of 

28. — Messrs. John Wheelock, Elijah Peck & myself, 
hired a pleasure boat to sail to the Castle. 1 The weather 
was pleasant & we sailed on 9 miles to the Light House. 
Soon after we came round Light House Island, the sun 
set. We came near running on a Rock on which the sea 
violently dashed its waves. The night overtook us & we 
wandered about among the Islands, guiding ourselves by 
the stars, as the Lights were hidden from us by the Is- 
lands. About midnight we ran the boat ashore at High 
Water, on Thompson's Island. We found a house where 
we lodged on a blanket on the floor. We waited for our 
boat to float until 1 1 O'Clock. Walking over the Island, 
we saw the bones of Indians jutting from the banks which 
the sea had washed away. The Islands of this harbour 
were once inhabited by numerous Indians. We set sail 
& soon after we had turned the point of the Island, we 
were overtaken with a N. E. gale. The sea ran high, & 
finding we could not get up by the ship channel, we 
steered for the back channel, between the Castle & Dor- 
chester, but the sea beating in upon us & the wind rising, 
we stood before it, & run the boat up amidst the roaring 
surges on the wild beach of Dorchester point. As soon 
as the boat struck, we jumped into the water & were car- 
ried along by the surf to the shore. By the force of the 
waves, our two mast boat was soon partly bedded in the 
sand. After drying ourselves at the first house, we walked 
6 miles round to Boston. 

The next day I went with the owner to get the boat up 
to Boston ; but a storm of wind arose like that on the pre- 
ceeding day, & he was obliged to leave his boat ; with 
much difficulty & danger he got her round the point, into 
a cove, & I walked again through Roxbury to Boston. 
The next day he went again in another boat, & they all 
arrived in safety. We had great experience of the good- 
ness of God, in our preservation in this adventure, & es- 

1 A fortification, on Castle Island, where Fort Independence now stands* 

David McClure 21 

pecially as neither of us were skilled in the management 
of a boat, indeed myself was the only one of the three, 
that had any knowledge of it, & mine was very imperfect. 
Our friends in Boston were exceeding anxious for us. 

Our pleasing prospects in the amusements of youth are 
oftentimes clouded with disappointments & sorrows. 

Oct. 2. — Went from Boston to my Uncle McClintock's 
in Greenland N. H. rode to Portsmouth & Exeter. In 
this latter place lived my two Brothers Samuel & James 
McClure & Sister Jane. Visited my aged Grandfather 
McClintock in Medford & with Mr. Ripley returned by 
the way of Providence to Lebanon. 

16th. — Began the School, the vacation being ended 
1770 April 15. — Doctor Wheelock preached his farewell 
sermon to his people, on the dissolution of his pastoral 
relation to them, by an ecclesiastical Council, in conse- 
quence of his appointment of President of Dartmouth 
College. His text, 2 Corinthians 13, 11, Finally, Brethren, 
farewell : &c. 

April 20. — Began to hear the recitations of the Fresh- 
men & Sophomore classes. 

May 7. — Vacation in the School. Mr. Avery & I went 
to Norwich to his father's ' & made a visit to Mr. Oc- 
com of Mohegan, 2 where we tarried one Night, treated 
with great hospitality by Mr. Occom, who preaches to 
the small settlements of Indians round about, to accept- 
ance, & is very useful to them. 

28. — Began School. It consisted principally of three 
Classes, viz. 1st. Waters, Bradford, Kendell & Porter, in 
the ^Enead & Greek Testament. 2nd. Hutchinson, Curtis, 
Crosby, Wright, Judson, Fowler, Conant & Mosely in 

1 John Avery, Jr., of Norwich West Farms, now Franklin, Conn. 

2 Rev. Sampson Occom, a Mohegan Indian, who was ordained as a Pres- 
byterian minister in 1759, and visited England in 1766-67 on behalf of 
Wheelock's school. He lived in the Indian village of Mohegan, in the 
present township of Montville. See Sprague's Annals of the American 
Pulpit, iii, 192-95. 

22 Diary of 

Erasmus & other preparatory authors. 3rd. Eleazar & 
James Wheelock, Collins & Averit l in Latin Grammar, 
Corderius &c & several Indian boys in reading, arithme- 
tic, writing & grammar. 

In consequence of the Royal Charter given to Dr. 
Wheelock for a College, 2 to be established in New Hamp- 
shire, the students in the School & some who had been 
admitted members of Yale College, were examined, Sept. 
4th, 5th & 6th and admitted into Dartmouth College in 
classes, according to their respective qualifications. Ad- 
mitted, 5 seniors, 2 Juniors, 5 Sophomores & 4 Freshmen, 
besides these there were 16 students in the School. From 
this small beginning arose Dartmouth College. 

Sept. 10th. — I went to New Haven to collect some sub- 
scriptions which had been made to the School, & which 
were still unpaid. Preparations made for the removal of 
the School to Hanover. 

18. — Dr. Crane 3 arrived express to delay the setting 
out, on account of the unprepared condition of the place. 
He arrived too late, Dr. Wheelock had set out. 

I continued at Lebanon a few days to settle some School 
Account. Mr. Kirkland & Thomas, an Indian & Deacon 
of his Church arrived from Onoida. Disappointed in 
finding Dr. Wheelock gone, he went on to Boston, & put 
himself under the patronage & pay of the Boston Board. 
Dr. Wheelock was not a little grieved at this movement. 
There was some misunderstanding between them. 4 Mr. 

1 Waters, Kendall, Porter, and Wright were graduated at Dartmouth in 
1774 ; Judson, Hutchinson, and Collins in 1775 ; Curtis and the Wheel- 
ocks in 1776. Fowler, Mosely, and Everett were graduated at Yale in 
1775, and Conant in 1776. 

2 By Governor Wentworth, of New Hampshire, on Dec. 13, 1769. 

3 Dr. John Crane, a friend of Wheelock's, who became the physician of 
the new settlement. 

4 In the Life of Kirkland, by his grandson, in Sparks's American Bio- 
graphy, xv, 218, this is supposed to have been due, in part at least, to the 
indiscreet behavior of Wheelock's son Ralph, who had been associated with 
the mission, and subsequently became insane. 

David McClure 23 

K. thought himself neglected ; but perhaps he did not make 
sufficient allowance for the multiplied business & cares, in 
which Dr. W. was engaged at that time. 

Mr. Kirkland afterwards visited Dr. W. at Dartm? Col- 
lege, & they signed articles of friendship & agreement, 1 
& after praying together mutually forgave. But Dr. W. 
could never be reconciled to his continuing under that 

Oct. gt/i. — Set out in company with Dr. Crane for Han- 
over. Lodged at Rev. Mr. Bliss', Ellington, 2 & breakfasted 
with Class Mate Hale, Long Meadow, 3 & 14. Reached 
Hanover. 4 The appearance of all things was new & wild. 
A few log houses had been erected for the accommoda- 
tion of Dr. Wheelock & family. Several Nights we slept 
on the ground by a fire, sheltered by a few boards, from 
the nightly dews. 

Major R. Wheelock & Mr. Woodward appointed Tu- 
tors, by the board of Trustees, who had met at Keen, 6 & 
I still continued in Moore's School. It consisted of 3 
Classes in the languages, & several in english. I kept it 
in a large log house, near the center of the present green. 

1771. Aug. 28. — Was held the first Commencement in 
the boarded frame of a building intended for the students. 6 

1 October 30, 1771. 

2 Then a parish in East Windsor, Conn., and about eighteen miles north- 
west of Dr. Wheelock's. The minister was the Rev. John Bliss, B.A., Yale, 

8 Nathan Hale (Yale, 1769) lived just north of the Connecticut line, per- 
haps eleven miles from the Ellington parsonage. He died in Goshen, 
Conn., in 1813. 

4 About 120 miles north of Longmeadow, along the banks of the Connec- 
ticut. This site had been chosen for the new college in July, — being con- 
venient to the river, as near the Indians as any other site, and favored by 
generous subscriptions from neighboring settlers. 

5 Oct. 22, 1770. Ralph Wheelock, eldest son of Dr. Wheelock, was 
graduated at Yale in 1765, but did little in the tutorship on account of fail- 
ing health ; his commission as major in the New Hampshire militia was not 
secured until 1774. 

6 For a full account, see Chase's History of Dartmouth College, i, 230-33. 

24 Diary of 

The occasion was honored with the presence of his Excel- 
lency John Wentworth, the Governor's father, Mr. Moody 
of Dummer's School 1 & a number of gentlemen from 
Portsmouth, Exeter &c. It was pleasing to see the soli- 
tary gloom of the wilderness give place to the light of 
science, social order & religion. 

Sept. 3. — Set out to journey to Boston &c. with Messrs. 
George Wheaten & John Wheelock. Spent 1st Sabbath 
at Lebanon Crank — Avery joined our company. 2d Sab- 
bath at Norwich Landing. Monday at Rev. Mr. Eells' a 
at Stonington. Tuesday I went to Newport. Attended 
at the Jewish Synagogue in the evening, & the next day to 
see & hear their worship & ceremonies. It was a high day, 
the celebration, as I was informed, of the Delivery of the 
Law at Sinai. Their worship was solemn, consisting in 
reading, chanting & a variety of ceremonies of which I 
could not understand the meaning. 

Attended a sacramental Lecture at Dr. Styles' Church. 3 
Dined by invitation with Capt. Trevet, an acquaintance of 
my father, & took tea with Mrs. Toppan a friend of my 
mother's. Removed from this my native town, in Child- 
hood, I was happy to find any friends of my parents, & by 
them was treated with much respect & kindness. 

Having appointed to meet my company at Providence, 
whom I had parted with, to make a short excursion to 
my native town, left Newport, & arrived at Boston ; my 
brother Wm. sailed for Quebec about two hours after 
my arrival. 

Kept Sabbath in Boston & preached for my very 
worthy friend & father Mr. Moorehead. Mr. J. Wheelock 

1 Samuel Moody (Harvard Coll., 1746), first Master of Dummer Acad- 
emy, Byfield, Mass., from 1763 to 1790. 

2 Nathaniel Eells (Harvard Coll., 1728). 

8 Ezra Stiles (Yale, 1746) was then pastor of the Second Congregational 
Church in Newport, afterwards President of Yale College. In his MS. 
Diary, Wednesday, September iSth, he mentions Mr. McClure's visit. 

David McClure 25 

& myself went to Salem. Lodged at Dr. Whitaker's, 1 
from thence to Exeter, Portsmouth & Greenland. Kept 
Sabbath at the latter place, & preached for my Uncle 
McClintock. 3 

Set out to return to Dartmouth College ; at Rochester 
N. H. found Esq. Pierce 3 of Portsmouth going to Wolfsbor- 
ough ; we accompanied him to Wentworth House, a new 
& elegant seat of the Governor's. 4 Found him & his 
Lady there & some of their friends from Boston. There 
we tarried till the next day. We sent our horses round 
through Tufftenborough & sailed over Smith's pond & 
Winnepesogah Lake, which is about 15 miles in length, 
& enjoyed the wild prospect which the lofty banks & 
thick woods around its borders, presented. The prospect 
was sometimes a little diversified with the appearance of 
here & there a log hut & some small improvements. We 
arrived at Center harbour at the W. end of the Lake, just 
at the time of the arrival of our horses. We then made 
the best of our way, which was rough & solitary, to the 
eastern part of the township of Orford, & from thence di- 
rected our course, by a path which had been lately marked 
out to the College 6 : but the darkness of the night shut 
down upon us, among the lofty pines, & we were necessi- 
tated to take up our lodging under a tree, without fire or 

1 Nathaniel Whitaker (see above, p. 6) removed in 1769 from Norwich 
to the Third Church in Salem. 

2 In the summer preceeding, Dr. Wheelock alone authorized me to preach, 
& my first appearance as a preacher was before him & the College in 
the Hall of the Old College. No association or Presbytery at that time 
existed, in those parts. [Note by the author.] 

3 Daniel Piece, one of the original Trustees of Dartmouth College. 

4 John Wentworth (Harvard Coll., 1755). The Governor's house was on 
the east side of Smith's Pond, which communicates with Lake Winnepe- 
saukee ; it is commonly said (e. g., in Wentworth Genealogy, i, 537) to 
have been built in 1773. 

5 Centre Harbor is about forty miles due east from Hanover ; but the road 
led them northwest to Orford, the next town but one (about eleven miles) 
above Hanover on the Connecticut River. 

26 Diary of 

refreshment. The night was cool & rainy, & to us a dis- 
mal night. The dawn of morning discovered to us the 
path, & following it, arrived at the College, at early break- 
fast. We found no other inconvenience in our lodging on 
the ground in a cold rain, than a slight cold. Youth & 
health can endure fatigues, that would destroy the feeble 
& aged. 

The winter of '71-2 I passed at College, part of the time 
attended the School, or heard the Freshman Class & kept 
the School & College accounts. Theological authors & 
expositors of the Scriptures also engrossed my time. I 
preached in sundry towns & settlements near the College, 
particularly Plainfield, Lime &c. 

Doctor Wheelock having received a communication from 
the Synod of New York & Philad? informing that there 
appeared a prospect of introducing Christianity among the 
Delawares & other Indians on the River Muskingum, & 
requesting that two missionaries would go to be under 
the pay & direction of the Board of Correspondents 1 in 
New Jersey, Mr. Levi Frisbie 3 & myself offered to go. 
We accordingly accompanied Dr. Wheelock to Hartford, 
Conn, at which place a Committee of the Synod had ap- 
pointed to meet April 25, to confer on the plan of the 
intended mission & to concert measures for the more ex- 
tensive spread of the Gospel among the Indians. The 
Committee were the Rev. Dr. Charles Beatty — Rev. 
Messrs. John Brainard & Elihu Spencer." Mr. Spencer 
came, the other gentlemen were providentially detained. 
The prospects, by Mr. Spencer's representation were 
inviting. Though the hostile aspect of Indian affairs a 
few years after disappointed the hopes of the worthy Dr. 
Spencer & the friends of religion in general. 

1 Of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. 

2 See above, p. 19. 

3 Mr. Beatty, of Neshaminy, Pa., died in Barbadoes on Aug. 13, 1772. 
Mr. Brainerd, a brother of David Brainerd, was graduated at Yale in 1746, 
and Mr. Spencer was a classmate ; both were zealous in missionary labor. 

David McClure 27 

1772, May 20th. — Myself & Mr. Frisbie were ordained 
at Dartmouth College to the work of the Gospel Ministry. 
It was a solemn day. Rev. Dr. Wheelock preached on 
the occasion from Luke 12, 42. "And the Lord said, 
Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his 
Lord shall make ruler over all his household, to give them 
their portion of meat in due season ? " The following 
ministers composed the Ordaining Council : Rev. Messrs. 
E. Wheelock D.D., Edon Burroughs, Bulkley Olcott, Rev. 
Mr. Powers. 1 To those distant & savage tribes beyond 
the Ohio, no missionary from New England had ever 
gone ! Messrs. Beatty & Duffield a few years before had 
visited them by appointment of the Synod of Philad* to 
find if there was a prospect of Christianizing them, & the 
report which they made was favorable to the attempt. 

The Sabbath preceding our departure I preached in the 
College hall & at the close delivered a short valedictory 
address, which was answered immediately after sermon, 
by an affectionate reply by professor Woodward, in the 
name of the Congregation, replete with benevolent wishes 
for our success & prosperity. Our patron Dr. Wheelock 
was present. The scene was solemn & impressive. Dr. 
Wheelock proposed that " besides a daily remembrance 
of one another at the throne of divine grace, we should 
spend a special season, viz. on Saturday & Sabbath even- 
ings between the hours of 6 & 7 O'Clock in prayer to God, 
for his protection, gracious presence & blessing upon our 
mission, & on all the labors of Missionaries to spread the 
knowledge of the true God & Saviour among the heathen." 
The students & all concerned in the College & School, 
cheerfully came into the solemn agreement. 

1 Mr. Burroughs (Yale, 1757) had lately been dismissed from a church in 
Killingly, Conn., and had come to Hanover in March as a candidate for 
settlement as pastor; Mr. Olcott (Yale, 1758) was pastor of the church in 
Charlestown, N. H., some forty miles to the southward ; and Mr. Powers 
(Harvard, 1754), of Haverhill, an equal distance to the northward. 

28 Diary of 

June igth. — We departed from the College, 1 and as 
there was some reason to expect, that we might have the 
company of Mr. Occom of Mohegan, who was acquainted 
with the language & manners of the Indians to whom we 
were going, we passed through Connecticut & called upon 
him & lodged at his house. He was desirous to go with 
us, but his domestic & other concerns prevented. He was 
very friendly & serious in conversation. At our depart- 
ure he walked a little way with us, & at parting gave us 
the benediction of the pious patriarch Deuteronomy 33, 
16. May the blessing of him who dwelt in the bush, be 
with you /' 

Leaving Mohegan, we set out for New Jersey, to see 
the Rev. Mr. Brainard, whom we expected to accompany 
us, to introduce the Mission to the Indians. We passed 
through New London & Lime, & crossed the ferry at 
the Mouth of Connecticut River, & tarried a day or two 
at New Haven in the agreeable society of some of my 
college friends, who resided there. 

Kept Sabbath at New York, visited Rev. Dr. Rogers 
heard him & his Colleague Mr. Treat, 3 preach. Spent a 
few days there & was at Elizabeth town the Sabbath fol- 
lowing. We preached for Mr. Caldwell. Here we tarried 
two or three days, & received our Commission from Mr. 
Caldwell, the Secretary of the Board of Correspondents 
of the Society in Scotland for propogating Christian 
Knowledge. Lodged at the house of Judge Livingston 
(afterwards Governor of the State during the revolution- 
ary war)/ A literary & very respectable character. He 
was, at that time, building an elegant seat, in the border 

1 An abstract of the Journal of this mission, written by Mr. McClure, was 
printed in Wheelock's Continuation of the Narrative of the Indian Charity- 
School, 1773. 

2 See page 165. [Author's note.] 

3 Rev. John Rodgers was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in New 
York from 1765 to 181 1 ; Rev. Joseph Treat was co-pastor to 1784. 

4 William Livingston (Yale Coll., 1741). 

David McClure 29 

of the town. His study was ornamented with tables of 
astronomical & philosophical calculations & maps attached 
to the walls around. Very sensible in conversation, he 
united gravity with a pleasant vein of humour. His writ- 
ings in defence of the civil & religious liberties of Amer- 
ica, & his able administration, give him an exalted rank 
among the most eminent of her early & decided statesmen 
& patriots. 

The Rev. James Caldwell was an eloquent & popular 
preacher, active & enterprizing in business. He had a 
numerous young family of children, & a most worthy 
& amiable Wife. The melancholy & tragical death of 
these respectable heads of a promising family, will long 
be remembered. He was wantonly shot by an american 
Centinel in the revolutionary war, while he was perform- 
ing an act of kindness & humanity ; & she suffered the 
same fate, from the hands of a british soldier, in her own 
house, with a babe in her arms & her children around 
her. 1 

July 16. — We arrived at the Rev. John Brainard's at 
Brotherton* & tarried with him about a Week. He lived 
in a small house, himself & Lady & one daughter, in the 
border of an Indian Village. We preached to the In- 
dians, in a small church at Mr. Brainard's request ; & in a 
week day to a settlement at Little Egg Harbour. Near 
to which we lodged at the house of Esq. Clark, both him- 
self & Wife were pious people. She was a native of Ire- 
land. 3 They treated us with great hospitality. The 
country here is a poor pine barren, with here & there 
some good land. The soil abounds in iron sand Ore. The 

1 Mr. Caldwell was pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth from 
1761 to his death in 1781 ; the drunken soldier who killed him was hung for 
wilful murder. 

2 The present Indian Mills, in Burlington County, about thirty miles 
southeast of Philadelphia. 

3 For Elijah and Jane (Lardner) Clark, see Brainerd's Life of John 
Brainerd, 480-81. 

so Diary of 

principle dependence of the people is on the iron works, 
which are carried on largely in the country around. 

We found that there was no prospect of our having the 
company of the worthy Mr. Brainard, to Muskingum. 
The reports which he had from Indians, from that quarter, 
were very unfavorable. Some murders of Indians by the 
whites, & of whites by the Indians, had, it was said, taken 
place, at or near Pittsburgh, & that the Delawares at 
Muskingum, appeared hostile. In consequence of these 
reports, previous to our arrival, Mr. Brainard went to 
Princetown, to advise with as many of the Board of Cor- 
respondents as reside about there, & it was the opinion of 
some, that it would not be advisable for us to proceed to 
Muskingum ; others were of opinion, that it would be best 
for us to make the attempt, & get as near the Indians as 
we could with safety, & wait on the frontiers, until the 
prospect should be inviting, & in the interim, preach to 
the new & destitute settlements. 

We were at a loss what were the pointings of provi- 
dence, relative to our duty. As several gentlemen of the 
Board of Correspondents lived in Philadelphia, Mr. Brain- 
ard was so obliging as to go with us there, to consult with 
them. Mr. Samuel Smith, an aged respectable Mercht. & 
formerly of Boston, kindly invited us to his house. Rev. 
Dr. Sproat, Dr. Rush, Dr. Morgan, members of the Board 
met there, & on the whole advised us to go to the Susqua- 
hanna, to that branch of the Delaware Indians who resided 
on the western waters, & to tarry with them, & from them, 
the probability was that we should soon obtain such in- 
formation, as should enable us to determine whether to 
pursue the first object of our mission. The body of the 
Delawares lived on the Muskingum, to which they re- 
moved many years ago, from the Susquahanna, by leave 
of the Six Nations or Iroquois, who claimed that country, 
by the conquest of its former inhabitants, the Catawbas. 

Kept Sabbath at Philad% preached half the day for 

David McClure 3 1 

Dr. Sproat. 1 Some friend of our mission, was pleased re- 
spectfully to notice in the public papers, our arrival in 
Philad* on our way to the Indians, on the Ohio. Having 
received Letters of introduction to sundry gentlemen on 
the way, from Dr. Allison, Dr. Sproat, & others, & a pass- 
port & recommendation from his Honor Governor Rich- 
ard Penn, we left Philadelphia with an expectation of 
proceeding up the Susquehanna. We arrived at the Rev. 
Dr. Smith's at Paqua, who had an academy of pupils, pre- 
paring for College & for preachers. Was much pleased 
with his amiable piety, zeal & hospitality. He had a son 
at that time a Tutor in New Jersey College, now (1805) 
the celebrated President of that respectable institution, 2 
from whom we had letters. We proceeded on to Lacock 
& lodged at the Rev. Mr. Woodhull's. 3 His situation was 
pleasant ; he was much respected, & a useful Minister. 
He occasionally preached to a small congregation of Pres- 
byterians in Lancaster, to which place (9 miles) he accom- 
panied us, & introduced us to his friends. We spent the 
Sabbath at Lancaster & preached. An occurrence hap- 
pened which shews the strict observance which the Jews 
pay to their Sabbath. 

We had an order for a sum of money from a gentleman 
in Philad*, on Mr. Abraham Simons, a jew merchant in 
Lancaster. We arrived on Friday, & intending to leave 
the town on Monday, we waited on him Saturday Morn- 
ing & presented the order. He said, " Gentlemen, to day 
is my Sabbath & I do not do business in it, if you will 
please to call tomorrow, I will wait on you." We ob- 
served that the same reason which prevented his payment 

1 The Rev. James Sproat (Yale Coll., 1741) was pastor of the Second 
Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1768 to 1793. 

2 Dr. Samuel Stanhope Smith, President of Princeton College from 1794 
to 1 8 12. His father, the Rev. Robert Smith, lived in Pequea, Lancaster 
County, Pa., sixty miles west of Philadelphia. 

3 John Woodhull (B.A., Princeton, 1766) was pastor at Leacock from 
1770 to 1779- 

32 Diary of 

of the order on that day would prevent our troubling him 
the day following. We apologized for our intruding on 
his Sabbath, & told him we would wait until monday. 
He replied, you are on a journey, & it may be incon- 
venient to you, to wait. He went to call in his Neigh- 
bour, Dr. Boyd, & took from his Desk a bag, laid it on 
the table, & presented the order to the Dr. The Doctor 
counted out the money & we gave a receipt. The Jew 
set looking on, to see that all was rightly transacted, but 
said nothing, & thus quieted his conscience against the 
rebuke of a violation of his Sabbath ; but I thought he 
might as well have done the business himself, as by an 

The Jews in general are said to be very strict & punc- 
tual in the observance of some of the traditionary cere- 
monies of their law, but hesitate not to defraud, when 
opportunity presents. Like their predecessors, the Phar- 
isees they tythe mint, annis & cummin & neglect the 
weightier matters of the Law, as Judgment, mercy & 
faith. They strain at a gnat, & swallow a Camel. Lan- 
caster is the largest inland town on the Continent. 1 It is 
situated in the center of an extensive valley, & is an excel- 
lent soil for wheat. Limestone abounds in this State, & 
some farmers begin to manure the ground that has long 
produced that golden grain, with this invigorating stone. 
They have kilns in their fields, in which they burn it. 

The people of Lancaster are principally emegrants from 
Germany & talk their native language. There are houses 
of public worship for the Lutherans the German Calvin- 
ites — the Presbyterians — the Episcopalians — the Roman 
Catholics, each one. The Lutheran's the largest. Some 
Moravians & Jews. 

In this place we became acquainted with the minister 
of the Lutheran Church, Mr. Henry Helmutz. He spake 

1 It contained about 5000 people at the first United States census, in 

David McClure 33 

english very intelligibly & sustains the character of a 
pious, laborious & zealous preacher. 1 

He was a young man, had a wife & one Child. Was 
educated in the famous Orphan House of Halle in Sax- 
ony, as I was informed, on the charitable funds of that 
Institution, founded by the great & good Augustus 
Franke. He informed me that the motives of his coming 
to America were the following. The Rev. Mr. White- 
field, famous for his wonderful zeal & labours both in Eu- 
rope & America, wrote to Mr. Francke informing him that 
there were numerous settlements of Germans in Pennsyl- 
vania, who were destitute of learned & pious teachers, & 
requesting that he would send to him, in England, two 
pious persons, & he would introduce them into a field of 
useful labour, in that part of the Vineyard. He, (Mr. 
Helmuts) & another offered to go. They arrived in Eng- 
land & waited on Mr. Whitefield. His first address a 
little alarmed them. He said, " Young men are you 
going to America, to preach the Gospel ? Ah ! you will 
find that the Devil has got there before you ; — but he im- 
mediately added, Jesus Christ is there too." "We found 
it so," said Mr. Helmuts. Soon after his arrival at Lan- 
caster, it pleased God to pour out a spirit of awakening 
among the people, particularly the large congregation of 
the Lutherans, of whom he was minister. It was a new 
& strange thing, among a people seemingly altogether 
absorbed in worldly pursuits & pleasures. They daily 
resorted to him, inquiring what they should do to be 
saved. The work spread, & was deep & genuine. The 
principal men of his Congregation came to him, & told 
him that it was the work of the Devil, & he must suppress 
it. He told them that it was the work of God, & he must 
encourage & promote it. Their rage was incensed against 

1 Dr. Helmuth (born 1745, died 1833) remained in Lancaster from 1769 
to 1779, and went thence to Philadelphia. See Sprague's Annals of the 
Amer. Pulpit, ix, pt. 1, 51-54. 

34 Diary of 

him, & they threatened to dismiss him. He was constant 
in his attention to souls under conviction, in preach- 
ing, prayer & conversation. The opposition grew more 
violent, as the work of God increased in the town. In 
the freedom of conversation, he mentioned that in the 
troubles which he met with from enraged opposers, he 
used to go to God in prayer for light & fortitude, & found 
it at times hard, to say " Thy will be done." 

Mr. Helmuts proposed to the gentlemen in opposition, 
that they should meet & confer on the important subject. 
They accordingly met at the School House. The leaders 
were filled with rage against him. With Christian meek- 
ness, he said, that they needed divine light & direction 
from heaven, in the momentous business on which they 
had met, & that if it was agreeable, he would address 
the throne of grace ; & wonderful was the effect ! The 
spirit of God came down upon them, & they who had 
nashed upon him with their teeth, when prayer was 
ended, with tears cried out, Sir, what must we do to be 
saved? Then, he observed that the work of God in the 
town, went on gloriously. Some effects of it, were very 
visible while we were there. I heard him preach on Sun- 
day, a third Sermon (in german) to a very numerous audi- 
ence, in his large Brick Church. They were solemn & 
attentive. From the affinity of languages, I found his text 
was in Jeremiah 23. 29. " Is not my word like as a fire ? 
saith the Lord ; & like a hammer that breaketh the rock in 
pieces?" His manner was pathetic, affectionate & im- 
pressive. The music was solemn. With the Organ ' & 
other instruments of music, the voices of the whole con- 
gregation seemed to unite. — The minister's salaries in this 
place are collected by contribution. The mode of collect- 
ing was new to me. 

At the close of public worship, about 6 men, each 
with a small black velvet bag fastened to the end of a 
1 At this date organs were of extreme rarity in American churches. 

David McClure 35 

long staff presented the bag which had a small bell sus- 
pended at the bottom to each person in the long pews or 
slips. The tinkling of the bell gave warn'g of the ap- 
proach of the little purse. The contribution was speedily 

finished. 1142959 

In this town we saw two Indian traders, who had lately- 
returned from the Scioto & Muskingum ; who informed, 
that the Indians in that quarter were now peaceable & 
friendly, & that the body of the Delawares, who lived on 
the Western Branch of the Susquehanna, 1 to whom we 
had thought of going, were removing into the Muskin- 
gum country, by invitation of their indian brethren, & 
were conducted by the Rev. Mr. Etwine, 3 Chief of the 
Moravians in Bethlehem. This intelligence determined 
us to relinquish our journey up the Susquehanna, & to 
pursue our route to the Ohio. 

At Lancaster we put up at the house of Mr. Hall, Gold- 
smith, his wife was a Switser, a pious & sensible woman. 

August 3. — Monday morning we left Lancaster & ar- 
rived at the house of the Rev. Mr. Roan 3 of Donnegall, 
to whom we had letters. A worthy sensible man. 
Some years ago, itenerant preachers were prohibited from 
preaching in Virginia. There was in some parts of it, a 
serious concern among the people, & Mr. Roan, who has 
the character of a zealous Boanerges, ventured to go & 
preach in the fields, to numerous audiences. Officers 
were sent to apprehend him, in the midst of his preach- 
ing; they were struck with his undaunted countenance & 
the majesty of his subject, & returned without executing 
their commission. 

We left Donnegall, & coming to the Susquehanna could 

1 In Bradford County, Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

2 John Ettwein, afterwards bishop, born 1721, died 1802. 

3 John Roan. See Sprague's Annals of the Atner. Pulpit, iii, 129-30. 
He ministered to three churches of this neighborhood from 1745 to 1775, 
his residence being in the present town of Mount Joy, Lancaster County. 

36 Diary of 

find no boat to cross it, nor house nigh. The River was 
low, & about half a mile wide. A man passing by, told 
us that we might ford it. I set out & Mr. Frisbie fol- 
lowed. It was a long & dangerous ride. The River 
rapid & the bottom stony & uneven. My horse often 
tripped, & the water came up to the Saddle. I fixed my 
eyes on the opposite bank, & kept a strait course, when 
I ventured to look on the water, could see the fish swim- 
ming around me ; through a good providence we got 
through, wet & weary. In the evening we arrived at the 
Rev. Mr. Duffield's, 1 6 miles from Carlisle. He received 
us with great kindness. Mr. Duffield rode with us to 
Carlisle to Col? Armstrongs, to obtain further information 
on Indian affairs. The Col? is a sensible & pious man, 
having great & deserved influence in the town & coun- 
try. Mr. Duffield & he married Sisters." 

In the french war, after Braddock's defeat, & the numer- 
ous disasters which happened to our forces on the fron- 
tiers, a bold & hazardous expedition conducted by Col° 
Armstrong against the Indians, providentially turned the 
tide of success in favor of the Colonies. He headed a 
party of about 300 men & came by surprise upon a con- 
siderable town of Indians called the Ketanning on the 
Allegany river, & killed a considerable number, & burned 
the town. This bold stroke mightily alarmed the enemy, 
& kept them at a distance from the new settlements. 

The town of Carlisle is a considerable place of trade, 
principally with the western country & the Indians. It 
contains two presbyterian Houses for public worship. 

A species of the Bohea tea grows spontaneously in the 
woods. The people manufacture & use it. It resembles 
the imported Bohea in taste & flavor. 

1 The Rev. George Uuffield (Princeton Coll., 1752), then settled over the 
united Presbyterian churches of Carlisle, Big Spring, and Monahan (now 

* Mrs. Duffield was a sister (not sister-in-law) of Gen. John Armstrong, 
of Carlisle, the hero of the French War (born 1725, died 1795). 

David McClure 37 

We returned to Mr. Duffield's. Mr. Frisbie being un- 
well, tarried with him, & Saturday Mr. Duffield accom- 
panied me a few miles on the road to a vacant settlement, 
called the Big Spring, where I proposed to spend the 
sabbath & wait for Mr. Frisbie's arrival. Notice of my 
intention had been forwarded to the people. I put up 
at the house of Allen Leper elder of the Church. 

9. — Sabbath went to the place of worship. It was a 
large log house. The congregation being great, I preached 
on a stage erected in a large shady grove. The people sat 
on the ground which was covered with verdant grass. 
The Assembly was solemn & attentive. They seemed all 
to unite their voices in psalmody. They sang the old 
Scotch version & all on the tenor. The Clerk read the 
lines. There was much solemnity in the sound of the 
high praises of Jehovah, in their united & elevated voices. 
When a boy, my mother informed me that she had a 
brother (John McClintock) who was settled in Pennsyl- 
vania. But I knew not the place of his residence. After 
sermon, I was agreeably surprised, to see my aunt & her 
Children come to me & ask my mother's name, they cor- 
dially shook hands, & after the evening service I went 
home with them, & found my aged uncle alive & well. 
With them I tarried several days, not a little thankful at 
finding in that distant country, such near & kind friends. 
At our departure, they loaded us with refreshments on our 
journey over the Appelachians mountains, whose majestic 
summits we had seen many miles back, & were now not far 
from the foot of the first of that vast chain of lofty hills. 

Aug. 11. — My aged Uncle, who treated me with the 
affection of a father, rode with us about 13 miles, to the 
Rev. Mr. Robert Cooper's l at Shippensburgh. A sensible, 
good man. 

1 Pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Middle Spring, in Shippensburg, 
Cumberland County, 1765 to 1797. See Sprague's Annals of the American 
Pulpit, iii, 270-73. 

38 Diary of 

Aug. 12. — We set out from Mr. Cooper's, & in two hours 
arrived at the foot of the North mountain l which is the 
first of the Appalachian. We passed through McCallister's 
gap. The road was dismal. It was a hollow through the 
mountain about six miles, rough, rocky & narrow. It was 
a bed of stones & rocks which probably the waters falling 
from each side had washed bare. 

In about 2 hours we passed through the gap, having 
walked almost the whole way. On the western side, the 
descent into Path Valley was steep & stony, & so contin- 
ued more than a mile. Leading our horses down, they 
came near falling upon us several times. The dismal gap 
was made a little pleasanter, by some company going the 
same way, which we parted with after coming into the 

The inhabitants of this country, many miles around, 
are Scotch Irish. They are presbyterians, & generally 
well indoctrinated in the principles of the christian relig- 
ion, civil, hospitable & curteous to strangers. This de- 
scription of people are removing almost daily into this 
country. Great numbers, within a few years, have come 
from Ireland. 

The road which we came through McCallister's gap, is 
20 miles nearer than the waggon road south by the way 
of Fort Loudon. 2 

The land in Path Valley is good & well watered ; we 
lodged at the house of Mr. Elliot, & in the morning set 
out for the Tuscarora mountain, the foot of which was 
about 3 miles from Elliot's. The ascent was steep & 
rocky : descending the western side, we had a fine pros- 
pect of an extended valley running N. & S. & some culti- 
vated farms. At 8 o'clock in the evening we arrived at a 

1 Now called Kittatinny, or Blue Mountain. 

s Built by order of the Earl of Loudoun, Commander-in-chief of the Brit- 
ish forces in America, in 1756, one mile from the present town of Loudoun, 
and thirteen miles west of Chambersburg. 

David McClure 39 

Mr. Bird's, at Fort Littleton. 1 Here was a small guard of 
british soldiers, principally for the purposes of carrying 
dispatches from Fort Pitt to Philadelphia &c, the village 
contained only 3 or 4 log houses. 

The next morning we left the valley & passed over an- 
other mountain called Sidling Hill, & about noon came to 
Junietta River. 2 In 1755, here was a small garrison com- 
manded by Lieu? Wood, which was taken by the Dela- 
ware Indians. The sufferings of Esq. Wood in captivity, 
he related to us not long after, at his house in Bedford. 

13. — Arrived at Bedford, 3 & received with hospitality 
by Esq. Wood, to whom we had a letter from Mr. Duf- 
field. (If leisure permits, some particulars of the remark- 
able captivity of Esq. Wood will be mentioned at the 
conclusion.) — Bedford lies in an extensive & fertile valley. 

The next day we rode across the Valley, & had before 
us the sublime prospect of the Allegany mountain, which 
we soon began to climb. It is the largest of the Appa- 
lachian, & usually gives name to the whole range. 

Before we encountered this largest Mountain, we pur- 
chased, at the house of a hunter, a quantity of excellent 
dried Venison, at the cheap price of 3d. per cwt. This 
mountain is 1 1 Miles over. In some parts so steep, that we 
were necessitated to hold by the tails of our horses & let 
them haul us up : this mode, however, though less laborious, 
was not so safe as climbing without this expedient, as we 
were exposed to be wounded by the stones, which their feet 
threw back upon us. Arriving at the summit, we were 
agreeably surprised to come upon a verdant plain, about 
half a mile in width, & what was more wonderful, a fine 
stream of water running from North to South, through 
the middle of the plain. We bathed in the refreshing 

] Built in 1756. The name is perpetuated in the town on that site, now 
in Fulton County, 

- The Raystown branch of the Juniata. 

3 Bedford is about fifty miles due west from Shippensburg, which they 
left the morning of the day before. 

4° Diary of 

stream ; & so tame were the little fishes, that they came 
fearless to my feet & nibbled at my toes. Happy little 
creatures ! In your secluded brook, your jaws never felt 
the torturing pain of the fisherman's hook, nor were you 
ever pursued by any fish of prey. 

We regaled ourselves with our dried venison & other 
refreshments, which the kindness of friends had afforded 
us. Our horses also enjoyed the place by ranging & feed- 
ing at large. To the Northward of us the Allegany rose 
higher, & from that elevation, we concluded, the brook 
received its source. From this elevated plain we had an 
extensive prospect of mountains rising behind each other, 
from the West, North about to the East, the most distant 
appearing like blue clouds in the Horizon. Here, 

" Hills peep o'er hills & Alps on Alps arise." 

From the course of the waters which issue from this 
majestic range of mountains, it seems that the Tuskarora 
which we have passed is the most elevated ground, be- 
tween the Atlantic, & the waters of the Ohio ; for from 
the eastern side of that mountain, the streams run to the 
waters of the Chesapeake, & from the west pay their trib- 
ute to the waters which form the Ohio, enlarging as they 
advance, & finding their way through the gaps of the 
Mountains. The eastern side of the Allegany is steep, 
but the western descends with a gentle slope. 

Ascending it, we encountered & slew two Rattlesnakes. 
One had II & the other 8 rattles. They were not dis- 
posed to be hostile, until we attacked them. We de- 
scended, & at the setting of the sun came to the house of 
a Mr. Millar, 25 miles from Bedford, where we lodged, 
The growth of the mountain are different kinds of oak, 
Chestnut, Walnut or Hickory, Wild Cherry, Sassafras, 
Honey Locusts & some maple. Before our arrival at 
Millar's, met 15 horses carrying cannon balls from Pitts- 
burgh to Philadelphia. 

David McClure 4 l 

Aug. 15. — Saturday morn'g ascended a steep hill, & de- 
scending a valley, came to Stoney Creek. Met 2 soldiers 
express from Fort Pitt, to Gen. Gage, to know the desti- 
nation of 5 companies of british soldiers, which have lately 
arrived from Fort Chartres. Rode to McMullen's 9 miles, & 
to McClee's 1 mile further, where resting awhile, we began 
to ascend the Laurel Hill, which is as deserving of the more 
exalted name of mountain, as several of its fellows, it is about 
9 miles over, although not so steep or high as the Allegany. 
At our ascending it, there came on a tremendous storm 
of thunder & a deluge of rain. Wet & weary at sunset, 
we arrived at Ligonier, 1 and put up at the house of the 
widow Cambel's. From Wednesday morning to Satur- 
day evening we have been clambering mountains, the most 
of the way, was through a zigzag or serpentine horse path ; 
& rejoiced in the divine protection which had brought us 
hitherto. The country before us was plain & fertile, about 
50 miles to Pittsburgh, & about 130 miles from thence to 

16. — Sabbath, We preached in the house of Mrs. Cam- 
bel to the people of the settlement, who live in 20 or 30 
log houses. Capt. Arthur St. Clair 2 resided there, who 
treated us with polite attention. Dined with him on Mon- 
day. His wife was a Miss Bethun of Boston. They had 
a number of pretty children. He said that the settlement 
in the valley of Ligonier consisted of about 100 families, 
principally Scotch & Irish : that they had purchased a 
parsonage for a minister & subscribed £100, Currency, 
Salary, & wished to obtain a settled Clergyman. Baptized 
a child of Thos. Gray's, by the name of Jonah. Capt. St. 

1 The present town of this name, in Westmoreland County, is on the site 
of Fort Ligonier, built by General Forbes in 1758. 

2 St. Clair, afterwards Major-General U. S. Army, and Governor of the 
Northwestern Territory, had acquired a large tract of land at Ligonier, partly 
by a grant from the King for his services in the French War. He married, 
about 1760, Phcebe, daughter of Balthazar and Mary (Bowdoin) Bayard, of 

4 2 Diary of 

Clair has 4 or 5 soldiers under him, principally for the 
purposes of expresses. 

Here saw a Benjamin Sutton, a great hunter & trav- 
eller among the Indians. He informs us of 17 tribes of 
Indians, on the waters of the Ohio, one of them, he says, 
are Mohegans. He also said that he had been in a town 
of white Indians, descendants of the Welch ; that they 
shewed him a Welch bible carefully covered with skins, 
which they venerated as a precious relict of their fathers ; 
but none of them could read it ; & that they lived far west 
of the Mississippi. But Sutton's character for veracity I 
found was not well established. 

Aug. 18. — Crossed the Laurel hanning, 1 a pleasant 
stream which runs through Ligonier, & rode to Col. 
Proctors. Here we found Kiahshutah, Chief of the Sen- 
ecas, on his way to Philad? & from thence Sr. Wm. John- 
son's, who, as his interpreter Simon Girty a informed us, 
had sent for him, relative to a treaty held some time ago 
at the Shawaness towns. He was dressed in a scarlet 
cloth turned up with lace, & a high gold laced hat, & 
made a martial appearance. He had a very sensible 
countenance & dignity of manners. His interpreter in- 
formed him of the business on which we were going. I 
asked him his opinion of it. He paused a few moments, 
& replied that he was afraid it would not succeed ; for 
said he, "the Indians are a roving people, & they will not 
attend to your instructions ; but take courage & make 
trial. The King of the Delawares & the warriors are now 
at home, & you will see them." He also mentioned that 
there was a minister at Kuskuskoong, on Bever Creek, & 
that one half of the Indians were offended with the other 
for hearkening to him. 

1 Now written Loyalhanna, a corruption of the Indian name. 

2 Born in Pennsylvania in 1741 ; afterwards a noted Indian interpreter, 
and infamous as instigator of the savages during the Revolution ; died 
1818. See Butterfield's History of the Girtys, 1890. 

David McClure 43 

From Col. Proctor's we travelled with an intention of 
lodging at Mr. Irwine's. We arrived a little before the 
setting of the Sun, at his house, but found he had re- 
moved, & the house empty. The next house was 1 1 
Miles distant, & the road was through a wilderness. We 
proceeded on and were overtaken by darkness & rain, 
our horses frequently wandered from the path, about II 
O'Clock we passed through a cleared field, near to which 
Col? Bouquet fought the Indians, in a bloody battle 1764. 1 
Wandering on we came to the house of one Byerly a 
Dutchman. We intreated admittance, but he refused to 
let us in. We proceeded on & crossed Bushy Run, the 
banks were mud & mire, the stream up to the horses 
bellies, & such was the darkness that we could scarcely 
see the water. By good providence we got safely through 
& soon arrived at another Dutchman's, one Tegart. We 
knocked at the door & awoke one, who held a conversa- 
tion with us, while the rain was pouring down. At first 
he declined letting us in, alleging that the house was full 
of indian traders from Pittsburgh &c. At last we wrought 
a little upon his humanity, & he unbared the door. 

It is strange that there should be so wide a differ- 
ence in point of hospitality, between the Germans & the 
Scotch and Irish of this country. The former will put 
themselves to no trouble to oblige you, & expect a re- 
ward for every service, the latter, we found cheerfully 
shewing us any kindness which we needed, without any 
other reward, except the satisfaction of obliging a stranger. 
Around the dirty room of the Log house lay asleep and 
snoaring, a number of men. No bed or bedding was to 
be had. We persuaded the fellow who let us in, to make 
up a fire, we were obliged however, to bring in the 
wood, & we partly dried our clothes. He also brought 
us two dirty blankets, & spreading them on the muddy 

1 The Indian attack on Col. Henry Bouquet's expedition, near Bushy 
Run, took place on Aug. 5, 1763. 

44 Diary of David McClure 

floor, before the fire, we lay down supperless to try to 
sleep. But such swarms of fleas from the blankets at- 
tacked us on all quarters, that sleep refused us its oblivi- 
ous soothing comforts. The Dutchman, with a beard an 
inch in length, sat on a block in the corner of the chimney 
place smoaking his pipe, & to while away the tedious 
hours, I asked him to relate over the battle of Col? Bo- 
quet with the Indians, not far from that place : & he 
told a long & blundering story, & retired leaving us to 
our own reflections & tormentors. We quitted our un- 
easy couch at dawn & got our horses. The Landlady 
arose & looking at us, made an apology for our coarse 
accommodations, & charged nothing for our lodging. We 
rode about 2 Miles to Mr. Lion's, & got refreshments. 
From thence passing near the field where Braddock was 
defeated, reached Elliot's. Mr. Frisbie's horse tiring, we 
walked most of the way from Elliots to Pittsburgh, 7 miles. 


Aug. 19. — Arrived at this place about sun set. The 
first object of our attention was a number of poor drunken 
Indians, staggering & yelling through the Village. It is 
the headquarters of Indian traders, & the resort of Indians 
of different & distant tribes, who come to exchange their 
peltry & furs for rum, blankets & ammunition etc. 

Aug. 20. — Waited on Major Hamilton, who at present 
commands at the Fort, he being unwell desired us to call 
the next day. We put up at a Mr. Sample's. 

21. — Waited on the Commandant, shewed him our Cre- 
dentials & passport from the Governor. 

He & the officers treated us politely. The officers here 
are Maj. Hamilton, Major Edminston, Capt. Fowler, Capt. 
Shea, Lieuts. Richardson, Douglas, Pridieu, Piety, Ensigns 
Blackwood & Hand of the 18 Regiment. 

The Fort is a handsome & strong fortification. In it 
are barracks & comfortable houses, one large brick house, 
called the Governor's house. It stands at the point of 
land formed by the junction of the Allegany & Monon- 
gehala rivers, on an extensive plain. Adjoining are a good 
Orchard & gardens. 

The Village is about \ Mile distant, & consists of 
about 40 dwelling houses made of hewed logs & stands 
on the bank of the Monongehala ; opposite on the south 
side of the river is a hill of several miles in length, running 
parallel & extending to the bank, which appears to be a 
body of stone coal. A smoak issued, in one place, from 
the top. It took fire accidentally a year past, & has 


46 Diary of 

formed a small bason by the caving of the earth. The 
coal is used by the inhabitants. 1 

21. — Rode to Col? George Croghan's, about 3 miles & 
dined. He is a Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs. 
He politely offered to send a Belt of Wampum & a 
speech to the King of the Delawares by our Interpreter ; 
we thanked him for the friendly offer. Saw many of the 
honey Locust trees. The fruit is a flat pod which con- 
tains a sweet sap or juice. The body & limbs are de- 
fended by long & sharp thorns. The fruit when ripened 
by the frost, falls off. 

22. — Our Interpreter waited on Col? Croghern & re- 
ceived the Belt & speech. Dined by invitation with the 
Officers in the Fort. 

23. — Preached at the request of Major Hamilton, in the 
Fort, to the Garrison about 200, who were paraded under 
arms, during divine service, & to the inhabitants of the 
Village. The greater part of the soldiers had lately ar- 
rived from Fort Chartres on the Mississippi, 3 & had not 
heard a sermon for 4 years. In the afternoon Mr. Frisbie 
preached in the Village. A great part of the people here 
make the Sabbath a day of recreation, drinking & pro- 
fanity. Providentially, near Pittsburgh, we found a chris- 
tian Indian, who engaged to be our Interpreter. His name 
was Joseph Pepee,' of the Delaware nation. He had just 
arrived in the vicinity, with about 50 families who were 
removing from the Susquehanna to Muskingum, as al- 
ready mentioned. Pepee was an aged man, & one of the 
christians of the late pious & laborious David Brainard's 
Congregation. He proved to be a sincere & faithful & 

1 One of the earliest known references to the use of anthracite coal in 
America. Cf. Magazine of American History, v, 452-53, and Magazine 
of Western History, xiii, 271-73. 

8 In Randolph County, Southwestern Illinois. Surrendered to the Eng- 
lish by the French in 1765, and abandoned in 1772, being undermined by 
the river. 

3 See a notice of him in Rev. David Jones's Journals, 1S65. 

David McClure 47 

zealous Interpreter. He had officiated in that capac- 
ity for Messrs. Beatty & Duffield on their visit a few years 
past, to the Indians at Muskingum. Mr. John Brainard 
had recommended him to us, & we esteemed the circum- 
stance which placed him in our way, as a signal smile of 
providence. He was obliged to go forward with the col- 
ony of his countrymen to Kuskuskoong, about 55 miles, 
to consult upon the place where to settle. Mr. Frisbie 
has been unwell for several days, & I fear will not be 
able to encounter the fatigues of the indian Mission. His 
disorder is the fever & ague. 

25. — Rode to Major Ward's & dined. 

26. — Rode with Messrs. McCallaster & Coulter, to the 
house of the latter, 18 miles from Pittsburgh, with the ex- 
pectation of preaching there on the ensuing Sabbath. 

28. — Rode with McCallaster to Joseph Hunter's, near 
the Yohio Geni 1 River. In the evening arrived Dr. John 
Connolly, 2 voluntier in the british service. He had lately 
come from Fort Chartres. Says the climate there is un- 
healthy, the people subject to fevers, supposed occasioned 
by stagnated waters on the flat & low lands of that 
country. There is a french settlement at the Fort, sub- 
ject to the english governm. 

29. — Saturday, rode over the Yohio Geni to Mr. 

30. — Sunday returned to Mr. Hunter's, 3 miles, where 
I preached, two sermons to a serious & attentive audi- 
ence. Some of the settlers here had not heard a sermon 
for 14 years. There was no settled minister or church or- 
ganized in all the country westward of the Appalachian 
Mountains. The people are generally presbyterians. A 
few illiterate preachers of the baptist persuasion, have 
preached about, zealous to make proselytes. 

Baptized 2 child? John & Jane Mitchel. A number 

1 Now written Yohogany. 

2 Subsequently an active loyalist in the Revolution. 

48 Diary of 

of families here talk of removing to the Natchez on the 

Monday rode to Braddock's 1 field. This memorable 
spot is about 1 1 miles above Pittsburgh on the bank 
of the Monongehala. It is a gradual ascent from the 
bank to the top of a hill, extending about £ of a mile. 
Up & down this Ascent the army consisting of about 
1400 chosen troops were paraded, rank & file, three deep 
in platoons, with intervals for field pieces. They were 
a fatal mark for the Indians, who lay on the ground, con- 
cealed by the trees. About IOOO of the army fell ; & 
it was not known that a single Indian was hurt. The 
trees in front of the army were wounded with grape shot 
about five feet from the ground. I got a handful of the 
shot from one of the trees. It was a melancholy spectacle 
to see the bones of men strewed over the ground, left to 
this day, without the solemn rite of sepulture. The fact 
is a disgrace to the british commanders at Fort Pitt. The 
bones had been gnawed by wolves, the vestiges of their 
teeth appearing on them. Many hundreds of skulls lay 
on the ground. I examined several, & found the mark 
of the scalping knife on all. I put one, & a jaw bone, 
in my portmantau, which I afterwards presented to Mr. 
Stewart's Museum a in Hartford. The harness of the horses 
remained unconsumed on the ground. A man who lives 
near the field of battle, & whose corn field takes in a 
part of it, had humanely collected a great number of the 
bones & laid them in small heaps. I departed from the 
place with serious & solemn reflections on the vanity of 
life, & the deep depravity of our fallen nature, the dread- 
ful source of fighting & war, & all the miseries that 
man delights to inflict on man. 

1 For the best account of Braddock's defeat, on July 9, 1755, see Park- 
man's Montcalm and Wolfe, i. 

2 The Rev. Joseph Steward (Dartmouth Coll., 1780) had a famous Museum 
of curiosities in Hartford, where he was also Deacon of the First Church. 

David McClure 49 

" Oh ! why will men forget that they are brethren ! " 

Rode to Mr. Eliot's 7 miles from Pittsburgh, & bap- 
tized his children. 

Sept. 1. — Wrote sundry Letters to friends in New Eng- 
land. Mr. Frisbie remains unwell. Dr. Hand, 1 surgeon 
in the british army (Afterwards a General in the American 
Army in the Revolutionary war), very attentively & gra- 
tuously attended Mr. Frisbie, during his sickness. It was 
the opinion of the Dr. that it was not advisable for Mr. 
Frisbie to attempt going into the Indian Country. It was 
indeed to me very disagreeable to go without him, & to 
encounter the hardships of the wilderness alone, & with- 
out a companion with whom I could hold friendly & 
christian conversation. 

Sept. 3 & 4. — Preparing for my journey to Muskingum. 
Engaged Robert McClellan to go with me as a waiter. 

5. — Saturday, left Mr. Frisbie, who purposed, God will- 
ing, to come forward as soon as his health would permit ; 
& set out with Robert, expecting to meet my Interpreter 
Joseph returning from Kuskuskoong. Mr. Gibson rode in 
company to his house in Logstown,' which was the only 
house there, 18 miles below Pittsburgh. 

Tarried at Mr. Gibson's over Sabbath. Spent the day 
principally in the solitary woods, in meditation & reading. 
Monday, my interpreter not arriving, I set out with Robert 
to find him. Mr. Gibson was kind enough to ride with me 
to a small town of Mingo Indians, 3 on the N. bank of the 
Ohio, & to send his servant a few miles further to show 
us the path. The roads through this Indian country are 
no more than a single horse path, among the trees. For 
a wilderness the travelling was pleasant, as there was no 
underbrush & the trees do not grow very closely to- 

1 Edward Hand, born in Ireland in 1744. 

2 On the right bank of the Ohio, near the site of the present village of 
Economy, Beaver County, Pa. 

3 A name for the Senecas in Ohio ; also used as an equivalent for the 
more general name, Iroquois. 

50 Diary of 

gether. We travelled diligently all day. I was appre- 
hensive that we had missed the path. Robert was a great 
smoaker of tobacco, & frequently lighted his pipe, by 
striking fire, as he sat on his horse, & often in the course 
of the day, exclaimed in his jargon, " Ding me, but this 
path will take us somewhere." At sun setting we arrived 
at Kuskuskoong, 1 & found my Interpreter Joseph there. 
He had been detained by the sickness & death of a 
Grandchild. It was a neat Moravian village, consisting of 
one street & houses pretty compact, on each side, with 
gardens, back. There was a convenient Log church, with 
a small bell, in which the Indians assembled for morning 
& evening prayer. The village was full, as their brethren 
the Susquehanna Indians had arrived with Mr. Etwine. 
The name of the German Moravian Missionary stationed 
here is Roth. 3 David Leizburgher 3 is the minister of the 
Indians going to Muskingum. The Missionaries have 
their wives & families with them. They received me 
with great hospitality. At the sound of the bell, the In- 
dians assembled in the church for evening prayer. It was 
lighted with candles around the walls, on which hung some 
common paintings of Jesus in the manger of Bethlehem 
with Joseph & Mary ; Jesus on the Cross, & the 
Resurrection &c. On one side set the elderly men & 
the boys by themselves, & on the other the women & 
girls. The evening exercise consisted of devout hymns 
in the Indian language, & in singing they all, young 
& old bore a part, & the devotion was solemn & im- 
pressive. After singing a number of hymns, the mission- 
ary addressed them, in a short exhortation in the indian 
language, & they retired with great order & stillness 
to their houses. Their hymns are prayers addressed to 
Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, who died for the sins of 

I Otherwise Kaskaskunk, or Coscosky, a noted Indian town, on the site 
of the present Newcastle, on Beaver River, in Lawrence County, Pa. 

II John Roth, born in Russia in 1726, died 1791. 3 Read Zeisberger. 

David McClure 5 1 

men, & exhortations & resolutions to abstain from sin, 
because sin is most displeasing to him, & to live in love 
& the practice of good works, as he has given us example. 

The same exercise was observed also early in the morn- 
•ing, of the following day. I was agreeably surprised to 
find so devout & orderly a congregation of christian In- 
dians in the wilderness, & pleased with the meek & friendly 
deportment of the Missionaries. 

The moravians appear to have adopted the best mode of 
christianizing the Indians. They go among them without 
noise or parade, & by their friendly behaviour conciliate 
their good will. They join them in the chace, & freely 
distribute to the helpless & gradually instil into the 
minds of individuals, the principles of religion. They then 
invite those who are disposed to hearken to them, to retire 
to some convenient place, at a distance from the wild In- 
dians, & assist them to build a village, & teach them 
to plant & sow, & to carry on some coarse manufactures. 

Those Indians, thus separated, reverence & love their 
instructors, as their fathers, & withdraw a connection 
with the wild or drinking Indians. Among other instances 
of the attachment & respect which the Indians shew them, 
I noticed the following circumstance, which my Interpreter 

In the morning an Indian with his gun & small pack, & 
his wife, came into the house of the missionary. After con- 
versing in a very friendly manner, the missionary affec- 
tionately saluted the Indian man on the cheek, shook 
the hand of his wife ; & the Wife of the missionary saluted 
the cheek of the squaw, & they departed well pleased. The 
substance of the conversation was as follows — 

Indian. — Father, I am going a hunting. 

Missionary. — How long, my friend, do you expect to be 
gone ? And where will you go ? 

Indian. — About six weeks, mentioning the place or 
point of compass, he was going. 

52 Diary of 

Missionary. — Well, dear friends, be always mindful of 
your blessed Saviour, & do nothing to displease him, who 
loved you & died for you. Go not in the way of the wild 
Indians ; but if you meet them shew them much love & 
kindness. Be careful to pray your hymns to Jesus, every 
night & every morning. May God bless & prosper you, 
& bring you back in peace & safety." 

Each family has a small, well cultivated garden, & a 
part in a large corn field adjoining the town. The mis- 
sionaries are remarkably attentive to the cleanliness of 
the Indians, & have caused necessary houses to be built 
for the conveniency of the town. 

Two soft feather beds were carried to the church, where 
Rev. Mr. Etwine & I lodged. His conversation was 
pleasant. He observed that the principal object of the 
Brethren was to carry the knowledge of J. X. among 
pagans, & not to build on other's foundations, or enter on 
other men's labours. That they had established churches 
on the river Wolga among the Tarters — among the Green- 
landers, & on the coast of Africa &c. He observed that 
they were a sect everywhere spoken against ; but that he 
believed the great object of their society was to bring the 
heathen, as well as others, to the knowledge & love of 
Jesus. Mr. Etwine approved of our design, but said he 
thought it would scarcely be safe for a missionary to 
venture among the Indians, to whom I was going, for he 
had been there & found many of them much opposed to 
the Gospel. 1 

Took leave of the friendly Moravians & set out for 
Mr. Gibbson's, where I had left some baggage. 

We came to the mouth of Beaver Creek about sun set- 

1 The Life and Times of David Zeisberger, by E. de Schweinitz (Philadel- 
phia, 1870), states that McClure and Frisbie relinquished their project when 
they found the Delawares provided with Moravian teachers, and adds (p. 
380) : " Ettwein, with that blunt honesty so characteristic of him, suggested 
that if the Scotch Society desired to aid in converting the Delawares, 
the Moravian Mission would accept any gifts it might choose to make.'' 

David McClure 53 

ting, where was a village of Mingo Indians. Great part of 
the Indians were drunk : one of the chiefs had sold his horse 
for 6 cags of rum, & gave a frolic to the people ; we avoided 
the village, & Joseph encamped on the bank of the Ohio, 
& Robert & I rode on to Mr. Gibson's about 6 Miles. 

Sept. 9. — I sent Robert in the morning to Pittsburgh, 
for a horse for Joseph. The same day Mr. Gibson arrived 
& informed me that Mr. Frisbie was much better, & no 
doubt would be able to go with me to Muskingum. 

10. — Robert was to have been back to Mr. Gibson's, the 
last evening ; but had not arrived, & Joseph weary of wait- 
ing at his encampment, had come to Mr. Gibson's. 

12. — Saturday, Robert not coming, I went to Pitts- 
burgh, partly with a view to preach there on the morrow, 
& principally with the expectation of finding my compan- 
ion Mr. Frisbie, so far recovered as to accompany me. — 
Arriving found that Robert, in violation of his engage- 
ment, had gone home, up the Monongahala, & I never 
saw him after. I was also disappointed of seeing Mr. 
Frisbie, as he had gone to a settlement 24 miles distant. 

13. — Lord's Day, preached by invitation of Major Ed- 
minston in the Fort, & in the afternoon, in the village. 
The inhabitants of this place are very dissipated. They 
seem to feel themselves beyond the arm of government, 
& freed from the restraining influence of religion. It is 
the resort of Indian traders, & many here have escaped 
from Justice & from Creditors, in the old settlements. 
The greater part of the Indian traders keep a squaw, & 
some of them a white woman, as a temporary wife. 
Was sorry to find friend Gibson in the habit of the first. 
They allege the good policy of it, as necessary to a suc- 
cessful trade. We found, however, a happy few who live 
in the fear of God, & maintain their integrity, particularly 
a Mr. Jonathan Plumer ' & his family. He was originally 

1 He emigrated to Pennsylvania about 1750. See Albert's History of 
Westmoreland County, 659. 

54 Diary of 

from Newbury port. In his family, which is numerous & 
laborious, the life of religion is duly maintained. The dis- 
sipated respect him for his goodness & benevolence ; but 
by way of reproach, give him the name of Solomon. He 
was the first man who found us on our arrival, & treated 
us with every possible mark of attention & kindness, in his 

Lieu* Fowler presented me with a Vertebra of the 
Mammoth weighing 9 lbs & 3 ounces taken from the Big- 
bone Lick, near the river Kentucky ; & also a grinder 
weighing 4 lbs & 4 ounces, two other grinders also of that 
species of animals, I obtained. I afterwards sent them, in 
a british waggon, to Philadelphia, from whence they were 
conveyed to Boston. 

Dr. John Connally who had visited the Lick, & brought 
up some bones, informed, that the place where they are 
found is a soft clayey or glutenous earth, which forms the 
head of a small stream running into the Ohio. He killed 
a Buffalo that had mired there, not long since. He said 
he had seen a traveler who had found the intire skeleton 
of one of those animals, about a 1000 Miles to the N. W. 
of the Lick, & in a direction to that part of N. America, 
which is most contiguous to the coast of Asia. 

May we not conjecture that they came across the nar- 
row streight of Bhering, from Siberia, where, it is said, the 
same kind of bones are found? That they herded to- 
gether, & venturing into the Lick, for the brackish or salt 
water which oozes out of the ground, sunk into the bitu- 
men & perished ? The great body of american Indians 
probably found their way into this country, from Tartary, 
by the same streight. 

Having passed the Sabbath evening with Major Ed- 
minston & the officers of the garrison, the Major politely 
waited on me to the gate, & at parting said, " You are 
engaged, sir, in a benevolent work, & you have my best 
wishes for your success. I am a Christian, & therefore 

David McClure 55 

please to command me in anything, in which I may serve 
you." I returned many thanks for his kindness. 

Monday. I was much at a loss where to find an eng- 
lishman to go with me, & my Indian interpreter, as an as- 
sistant & companion : but providentially, a young man, 
Joseph Nickels, who was the interpreter for the garrison, 
& had a salary from the crown, & who had been a captive 
among the Indians when young, & well acquainted with 
all their customs, mentioned to me that it would be 
agreeable to him to go with me, if I could obtain leave of 
absence. I accordingly waited on the Commandant, & he 
politely gave him leave of absence, for a month. By the 
kindness of friends, I was furnished with a horse for him, 
& one for my interpreter, & another to carry our baggage, 
which consisted of a markee tent, (lent me by Capt. Gib- 
son ;) blankets, some cooking utensils & sundry articles of 


SEPT? 15. 1772 

SET out with Nickels, & crossing the Allegany River, 
came on Indian ground. Arrived at Mr. Gibson's, 
at Logs town about 18 Miles, & found my Interpreter 

i6tk. — Came to the Mingo village on Bever Creek. On 
the green lay an old Indian, who, they said, had been a 
hard drinker; his limbs were contracted by fits. He 
told me his disorder was brought on him by witchcraft, 
that he employed several conjurors to cure him, but in 
vain. I called his attention to his dependence on God, on 
death & Judgment. He however gave little heed ; but in 
answer told my Interpreter, if he would bring a pint of 
rum every time he came, he should be glad to see him 
every day. Awful stupidity ! This village is commonly 
called Logan's town. About half an hour before our ar- 
rival, we saw Capt" Logan in the woods, & I was not a 
little surprised at his appearence. As we were obliged to 
ride, as it is commonly called in Indian file, the path not 
admitting two to ride a breast, I had passed beyond Logan 
without seeing him. He spoke to my interpreter, who 
was a little distance behind, to desire me to stop. I 
looked back & saw him a few rods from the path, stand, 
under a tree, leaning on the muzzle of his gun. A young 
Indian, with his gun, stood by him. 

I turned back & riding up to Logan, asked him how he 
did, & whether he wished to speak with me ? (I had seen 
him at Pittsburgh). Pointing to his breast, he said, " I 


David McClure 57 

feel very bad here. Wherever I go the evil monethoes ' 
(Devils) are after me. My house, the trees & the air, are 
full of Devils, they continually haunt me, & they will kill 
me. All things tell me how wicked I have been." He 
stood pale & trembling, apparently in great distress. 
His eyes were fixed on the ground, & the sweat run down 
his face like one in agony. It was a strange sight. I had 
several times seen him at Pittsburgh & thought him the 
most martial figure of an Indian that I had ever seen. 
At the conclusion of his awful description of himself, he 
asked me what he should do ? Recollecting to have heard 
at Pittsburgh, that he had been a bloody enemy against 
the poor defenseless settlers on the Susquehanna, & the 
frontiers, in the last french war in 1758, & 9, & it was also 
reported of him, (though positive proof could not be had) 
that he had murdered a white man (one Chandler) on the 
Allegany mountains. I observed to him, perhaps Capt? 
Logan, you have been a wicked man, & greatly offended 
God, & he now allows these Devils, or evil thoughts which 
arise in your heart to trouble you, that you may now see 
yourself to be a great sinner & repent & pray to God to 
forgive you. If you will repent & ask forgiveness of God 
from the bottom of your heart, & live a better life, the 
Great Spirit above will not suffer the Devils to torment 
you, & he will give you peace. 

He attended to what I said, & after conversing a little 
longer, in the same strain, We left him, in the same dis- 
tress, as I found him. After parting from him, various 
thoughts, but none satisfactory, occurred to me, relative 
to the cause of the distress & agitation of so renowned a 
warrior. I sometimes thought (such was his ferocious 
character) that knowing of my journey, he had placed 
himself in a convenient spot for robbery or murder, but 
was disappointed, finding us armed. For my interpreter 
& Nickels had each a loaded piece, the Indian a common 
1 Usually written manitou. 

58 Diary of 

musket, & the english man a rifle always loaded, for the 
purpose of killing game. Perhaps it was some sudden 
compunction, arising from reflections on his past guilt. 

This same Logan is represented as making a very elo- 
quent speech at the close of the revolutionary war, on the 
murder of his family by Col? Cressup. 1 

We left Logan's town, & proceeded on about one mile 
& came to a pleasant stream of water, where we encamped. 
My Interpreter kindled a fire & prepared a trammel sup- 
ported by stakes drove in the ground, on which our kettle 
was suspended to boil, & assisted me to pitch the Tent. 
Nickels performed the office of cook, with which he was 
well acquainted. I spread a Bear skin & blanket for a 
bed, & my portmantau was the pillow. We supped very 
comfortably on chocolate & roast venison, & committing 
ourselves in prayer, to the protecting care of heaven, we 
lay down to rest. 

The Indian chose to sleep in the open air, the english- 
man in the tent. I slept but little this night, being kept 
awake by the howling of Wolves. It was the first time 
I had ever heard their nightly dolorous yells. They 
came near our encampment ; but the sight of the fire 
kept them off, had they been disposed to attack us. Our 
horses we let go, each hav.g a bell suspended to his neck. 
The feed in the woods was good & in plenty. 

17. — Thursday. We breakfasted, got up our horses, & 
about 9 O'Clock set out from our encampment. We 
travelled leisurely, on account of the baggage horse, who 
was heavily loaded, & moved slowly. 

The woods were clear from underbrush, & the oaks & 
black walnut & other timber do not grow very compact, & 
there is scarcely anything to incommode a traveler in rid- 
ing, almost in any direction, in the woods of the Ohio. 

1 See Mr. Jefferson's Notes on Virginia. It was said that Logan & his 
party killed & captivated 13 Americans in the revolutionary war. [Note by 
the author.] 

David McClure 59 

The Indians have been in the practice of burning over the 
ground, that they may have the advantage of seeing game 
at a distance among the trees. We saw this day several 
deer & flocks of Turkies. About an hour before sun set- 
ting we arrived at Little Beaver Creek. 

On the bank of this stream, which was fordable, we had 
a wonderful prospect of game. In the middle of the 
Creek, a small flock of wild geese were swiming, on the 
bank sat a large flock of Turkies, & the wild pigeons 
covered one or two trees ; & all being within musket shot, 
we had our choice for a supper. My Interpreter chose 
the Turkies, & killed three at one shot. 

We went about 3 miles further & pitched our tent, 
like the patriarchs, by a small stream, & our evening & 
night was passed like the preceeding. 

Friday morning we were ready to leave our encamp- 
ment about 8 O'Clock, & travelled through an excellent 
country of land, about 18 miles & coming to a small & 
pleasant river, we pitched our tent about an hour before 
sun setting. 

Saturday 19. — Our path had led us along the North 
bank of the pleasant river Ohio, almost the whole way 
from Pittsburgh, & frequently within sight of the river. 
The soil is luxurient, the growth principally white & black 
oak, Chesnut, Black Walnut, Hickory &c. The sweetest 
red plums grow in great abundance in this country, & 
were then in great perfection. Grapes grow spontane- 
ous here & wind around the trees. We have been 
favored with delightful weather. It would add unspeak- 
ably to the pleasantness of this solitary wilderness had 
I the company & christian conversation of my friend 
Frisbie. My Indian Interpreter Joseph Pepee, appears 
to be a sincere christian, but the poor man is ignorant, 
his ideas contracted & his english broken. Nickels is 
very good natured & obliging, & his knowledge of men & 
things no more than we can reasonably expect of one, 
whose condition in life has been like his. 

6o Diary of David McClure 

Lord's Day 20. — We attended to the exercises of 
prayer & reading the scriptures this morning, & about 1 1 
O'Clock proceeded on our journey. As the season was 
approaching when the Indians go out on their fall hunt- 
ing, I thought it most advisable to go on, & we were in 
hopes of reaching the town before night. We journeyed 
about 13 miles to a small run of water where we en- 
camped, & the next day reached the town. 


1772. SEPT. 21 

THIS town is called New Comers town by the english, 
& stands on the West bank of the Muskingum, 1 con- 
taining about 60 houses, some of logs, & others the bark of 
trees, fastened by elm bark to poles stuck in the ground & 
bent over at the top. There are nearly 100 families. It 
is the principal town of the Delaware nation, & the resi- 
dence of the king & the greater part of the Councillors. 
There are several small villages up & down the river. 
This place is about 60 Miles above the mouth of the 
Muskingum. Eight or ten acres around the town, are 
cleared. On the opposite side of the River is a large 
corn field, in rich low ground ; it is inclosed within one 
common fence, & each family has its division to plant. 
Some of the houses are well built, with hewed logs, with 
stone chimnies, chambers & sellers. These I was told 
were built by the english captives, in the time of the 
french wars. 

On my arrival in the town, we had the unpleasant sight 
of several drunken Indians & to hear their savage yells. 
We halted within the skirts of the town & I sent my In- 
terpreter to the king (to whom I had written from Pitts- 
burgh) to inform him of my arrival. He sent a messenger 

1 Still known as New Comerstown, in Tuscarawas County, on the Tus- 
carawas River, a branch of the Muskingum. The writer left the Ohio 
River (which here flows nearly south) on the 20th, and struck westward to 
his destination, which is about eighty-five miles west of Pittsburgh. 


62 Diary of 

to invite me to his house. On our way, several Indians 
asked my interpreter whether we had brought rum. 

The king, whose name is Nettautwaleman, received me 
with hospitality. He is an old man, tall & active. His 
house is the largest, & built of small square logs. Around 
the walls, for beds & seats, were planks raised from the 
ground & covered with the hides of Buffaloes & Bears. 

He sent a messenger to call his Councillors & 7 or 8 
aged men came in. They sat down to smoak their pipes 
& converse with my interpreter Joseph, & asked him 
a variety of questions. The king asked me, Whether his 
brother king George, or Sir William Johnson had sent 
me ? I told him, that some Great men, whom the King 
had appointed for the business on which I came, had sent 

He said, " as some of my people are drunk, & not fit 
to attend to business, I will hear your business tomorrow." 

One of the Councillors, Capt" Killbuck, 1 well known for 
his depredations on the frontiers the last war, came in, 
& taking me by the hand, very politely requested me 
not to give myself any concern for accommodations, for 
he should provide a house for me & my company : he 
accordingly conducted me to a log house, which was con- 
venient. He mentioned that they were about to be much 
engaged in consultations, on public concerns, but that 
they should attend on the morrow to my business. He 
ordered one of his sons to wait on me : & we attended 
to putting our things in order in the house, in the best 
manner we could. I was pleased with the hospitable re- 
ception, & was ready to promise myself a successful 
issue to my errand. 

22. — Tuesday, afternoon, a messenger informed me that 
the King was ready to hear what I had to say, & con- 
ducted me to the Council House. It was a long building 
covered with hemlock bark, with a swinging door at each 

1 Born 1737, converted by the Moravians in 1788, died 1811. 

David McClure 63 

end. Within the door & fronting the entrance, was the 
face of an aged man, carved in wood, signifying that wis- 
dom should preside there. There was something impress- 
ive in the wild & novel appearences before me. 

The King & his Council, in number about 12, sat on 
Buffalo skins, on one side at the entrance, the warriors 
on the opposite, & young men & women & children occu- 
pied the rest of the house. The men were smoaking their 
pipes & conversing. The warriors were painted, & their 
heads & necks ornamented with feathers & strings of 
wampum ; & several of the men & women with silver & 
ivory or bone bracelets over their arms. 

Two council fires were burning, & a bench placed be- 
tween them, on which the King's Speaker desired us to 

After a few minutes, the Speaker spoke a word or two, 
& there was instantly an universal silence. 

The Speaker then said to me, " Brother, the King is 
ready to hear what you will say." 

I then expressed the satisfaction which I felt to see 
the King & his people, & that the Great Spirit above had 
kept me on a long & dangerous journey, & given us op- 
portunity to meet them in peace & health. I informed 
them in a summary manner the nature & design of my 
errand — from whence I came, & by whom sent — read our 
commission, passport, & letters recommendatory from 
sundry respectable characters. Gave some account of 
pains taken to instruct the Indians our brethren, in the 
wilderness, in useful science & the knowledge of the true 
God & Saviour of men. I proposed to continue with them 
a considerable time, without expence to them, if agreeable 
to them, to teach them the way to happiness & to heaven. 
1 conversed with them about 40 minutes, during which 
time, there was great attention. At the conclusion of 
each sentence they gave a shout of applause, crying ka-ha- 
lak, or Ah-nan. 

64 Diary of 

The Speaker said, " The King will consider what you 
have spoken, & will give you an answer." 

The exemplary decorum, (particularly their patient & 
uninterrupted attention to the speaker) of an Indian 
Council, has been often mentioned, by those who have 
been spectators. One circumstance however I do not 
recollect to have seen noticed by writers of the history of 
indian manners, which is, that they give shouts of applause 
to what they dislike, as uttered by the speaker, as freely 
as they do to what they approve. They say that it sig- 
nifies no more than that they attend, & mean to treat the 
speaker with civility. Their approbation or dislike, is 
shown by their answer, which is not obtained from an 
indian council, until after long & tiresome waiting. They 
have no pressing business to engage attention, & can af- 
ford to throw away time on trifles ; & small matters are 
important in their apprehension, as their knowledge is 
very limited. In the evening some of them came to see 
me & I conversed with them on the things of religion. 
They seemed to be more inquisitive for news, & appeared 
to have no relish for serious information. 

My family consisted of Pepee, Nickels & two sons of my 
host Capt? Killbuck. I had sundry of the smaller articles 
of provisions, & the Indians supplied us with wild meat. 

I expected an answer from the Council, the next day, 
but was obliged to wait several days for it. 

Some of the Council mentioned that they were forming 
a Speech to send to Sir William Johnson, to inform him 
that they had complied with his advice, & received the 
Susquehanna Indians to live in their neighbourhood. 

Sept. 23. — Wednesday the Council met. They sent 
for me to read a letter, which they had some time pre- 
viously received from some Quakers in Philadelphia, 
dated 18th of the 5th Month 1771, respecting teachers of 
religion coming among them. It promises that when 
such shall come they will send a Certificate with them, 

David McClure 65 

that they may know that they are true men. It was re- 
markable that the Letter had no signature. If it was 
genuine, it looked as if the Quakers of Philadelphia, were 
ashamed to appear openly in opposition to christians of 
other denominations engaged in the benevolent work of 
spreading the gospel among the heathen. It also men- 
tions, that if they are inclined to receive School Masters, 
they will assist to support them. This Letter was written 
soon after the Synod concluded to send missionaries to 
those Indians. 

The Quakers, I was credibly assured, sent a present of 
100 Dollars to the Susquehanna Indians, removing to 
Muskingum. This was charitable, but to exclude, as far 
as their influence extends, from access to the Savages, all 
who do not carry with them, a testimonial of their appro- 
bation, is worse than uncharitable. 

In said Letter, the Quakers call themselves the children 
of the Great Onas (a Quill or pen) the indian name of 
Wm. Penn, for whose memory the Indians have a great 
veneration ; & " hope that the same friendship which 
existed between their fathers & him, will allways exist 
between the children." 

If this letter was genuine, as the Indians asserted, the 
policy of it, had its effect, for the Indians appeared to offer 
it as an objection to the reception of our proposal. No 
people on the continent have such unbounded influence 
over the Indians as this denomination, especially as their 
pacific principles, while they had the ascendency in the 
government, prevented the raising even a necessary de- 
fensive force to stop the progress of their savage & mur- 
derous depredations on the frontiers, in the french wars. 

The King sent to me again to attend at the Council 
House. The speaker presented me a long letter which 
he had received not long since, from one David Jones, 1 a 

1 Of Freehold, N. J. He had already visited this region and returned the 
following winter. See Journal of his Two Visits, N. Y., 1865. 

66 Diary of 

baptist preacher of New Jersey, acquainting him that he 
was coming among them to instruct them, to learn their 
language & translate the Bible. He directs them to 
choose some of their great men to go with him to England 
next spring, & proposes a plan of government &c. &c. 

The big words of this Letter writer were resented by 
the Council, altho' as I was afterwards informed some of 
them wished to go to England. The indian Chiefs who 
have visited there, have commonly returned loaded with 

In the evening the King's Chief Councillor came, & 
spent an hour or two with me. He said I must have 
patience ; that they were engaged in other important 
business, & would, as soon as possible, give an answer 
to my proposal. 

One of the aged Indians, who appeared well disposed, 
told me the following story. " Last spring, as we have 
heard, an Island belonging to the English, was sunk by 
an earthquake. The night before the dreadful catas- 
trophy, a person appeared to a young man, who was a 
minister, informing him, that destruction was coming on 
the Island ; & as he had been faithful to warn the wicked, 
he should be preserved, because the Great Spirit above 
had more work for him to do ; & therefore he must im- 
mediately get on board of a vessell, which he did, & saw 
the Island sink. And when we received your letter from 
Pittsburgh, informing that you were coming, we believed 
that you was that young man, & that God has sent you 
to teach us the way to heaven." 

25. — Friday. The Council still setting, & no answer. 
I seem to be loosing precious time ; but shall patiently 
wait their delitory forms of business. In the afternoon, 
got up my horse to ride to a neighbouring village, but was 
prevented by one of the Council, who seemed with a de- 
gree of earnestness to expostulate against my riding any- 
where, as they were, he said, consulting on my business. 

David McClure 67 

He said, they should send for me tomorrow, for they did 
not fully understand my speech. I rode only to the old 
conjuring place, where they were wont to hold their Pow- 
wows over the sick. It was about half a mile from town, 
& by the side of a branch of the Muskingum. There 
were half a dozen cage-like things, formed by sticking 
poles in the earth & bending & fastening the tops, in 
the conical form of a Sugar loaf. When a sick person is 
to be operated upon, he is put into one of them, together 
with large stones heated hot ; the cage is then covered 
with blankets or skins, & the conjuror pours water upon 
the red hot stones, & raises such a suffocating steam or 
vapour as brings on a profuse sweat upon the patient. In 
the meantime, the conjuror, is in & out, as he can bear 
it, yelling & capering & making a thousand odd gesticu- 
lations, & calling upon the Evil Monetho (the Devil) to 
help. From the hot house, he is plunged into the water, 
& from the water again to the hot house, as his strength 
can bear the operation. It is said that this summary 
method is efficacious to heal those disorders which arise 
from obstructed perspiration, & to diseases of this kind, 
Indians are most subject, owing to frequent exposure to 
cold & heat, lodging on the ground & the like. To 
pulmonary disorders it is fatal, as also in the small pox. 
This latter scourge of the human race, has swept off mul- 
titudes of Indians from this continent. 

A little before my arrival, the grand Conjuror of this 
town was banished on pain of death. His crime was a 
failure of success in healing several who were sick. Their 
opinion of him was, that he had so much influence with 
the Devil, that he could obtain of him skill to heal those 
whom he wished to heal. The Evil Spirit, according to 
the Manechean doctrine, they believe to be the author of 
all natural evil. They also believe that their conjurors 
have the power of inflicting diseases, as well as healing. 
It was this opinion respecting the conjuror of this place, 

68 Diary of 

that excited the town to punish him with perpetual 

I was in the Conjuror's house, it was the best built in 
town except the king's. A celler with stone wall — a stare 
case, a convenient stone chimney & fire place & closets 
& apartments, gave it the appearence of an english dwell- 
ing. Between the house & the bank of the River was a 
regular & thrifty peach orchard. The house was for sale, 
but no one would purchase it. The price was fixed as low 
as one dollar. Such dread have they of the secret & in- 
visible power of the Conjurors. 

26. — Saturday Morn.g. There was a white frost on the 
ground. The Indians here do but little labour on the soil. 
One large corn field supplies the town, & in that, the 
women do all the labour. The savage state has always 
been unfavorable to the female. The superior strength 
of the man is used, not in protecting & lightening the 
burdens of the weaker sex, but in depressing them. The 
men are ashamed of all kinds of labour, except war & 
hunting, to these we may add, the building of their mis- 
erable houses. 

If an Indian sails in his Canoe, his wife and daughter, if 
he has one, paddle him, where he chooses to go. When 
he inclines to take a wife, it is said, the female makes the 
advances towards courtship. Such is the pride of these 
lazy lords of the wilderness ! There is an air of dignity, 
however, and a politeness of manners among them, which 
is surprising to one who has seen no more of Indian man- 
ners than what is found among those who live among or 
bordering on the english settlement. They appear con- 
scious of their uncontrouled independence & almost un- 
bounded liberty. 

Their government is simple & democratic. The King 
and Council administer just so much of it, as the people, 
especially the warriors, approve. They pay great defer- 
ence to the aged & to their opinion. The penalties of crimes 

David McClure 69 

are few, & such as have received the sanction of custom. 
Murder is almost the only crime that is punishable, and that 
the government have nothing to do with. It is avenged 
by one of the near kindred of the dead, who puts to 
death the murtherer, and sometimes it goes round, and a 
friend of the murderer takes up the hatchet. O deplor- 
able state of nature, where men are left without the re- 
straints of government or religion & guided, only by their 
passions & lusts ! 

I saw the unhappy effects in some instances of this in- 
secure state of nature. A principle of fear and distrust 
of each other universally prevails, for every man is the 
avenger of his own real or imaginary wrongs. 

A little before we arrived at Pittsburgh, Eneas McKay 
Esq., at whose house I afterwards lodged, related the fol- 
lowing revenge of Indian murder having taken place 
there. In a drunken frolic, on an Island a few miles be- 
low Pittsburgh, one murdered another. The son of the 
person murdered became the avenger ; and happened, acci- 
dentally, to find the murderer of his father at Pittsburgh. 
He applied to the commander of the Fort for justice to 
be executed on the murderer; as he was, within the juris- 
diction of the english. The commander declined any 
interference. The Indian then said that if he would not 
execute justice, he would. With an Indian companion 
he returned to the murderer and told him to prepare for 
death. He retired into the house yard of a Mr. Hart, 
and after smoaking his pipe, began to sing his own death 
song, in a strain of dolorous and mournful melody. The 
avenger and his companion walked to the Piazza of Esq. 
McKay's house where they sat in silence, smoaking their 
pipes, about 20 minutes, when suddenly rising, they 
entered the yard, the murderer was still singing the death 
song, resting his head upon his hands and his arms upon 
his knees, when the avenger, without speaking, dispatched 
him with his tomahawk, and threw his body into the 

70 Diary of 

Monongehala. Although a murderer endeavors to keep 
out of the way of the avenger of blood, yet when he is 
found by him, he makes no efforts to resist, or even to 
escape, but peaceably submits to execution. 

The frequency of murders, the sad effects of strong 
drink, and the sanguinary pursuits of the avengers of blood, 
and in some instances avengers of the death, of the mur- 
derers, is one great caused among many, of the rapid de- 
crease of Indians, especially those nations to whom our 
English traders convey rum. So sensible are they of 
this being to them the besom of destruction, that they 
have passed a law or decree that no trader shall bring 
rum into their towns ; but the cuning policy of the trad- 
ers has evaded the law, by committing it to the squaws 
that resort to Pittsburgh to carry & barter, and such is 
the ardent thirst which they have for this destructive 
liquid, that they connive at this practice. 

It is not easy for a white man, used to the warm com- 
forts of civilized life to conceive how delicious & exhil- 
erating rum is, to the taste & stomach of an Indian. 
Living principally in the shade and damps of forests and 
sleeping on the moist ground, exposed to rain and cold, 
with slight covering to their bodies at all seasons, their 
constitutions are remarkedly phlegmatic, their blood cold 
& slow, and their animal spirits, of consequence, in an 
habitual state of depression, bordering on melancholy. 
The powerful stimulus of ardent spirits to this indolent 
& miserable race of men, is, therefore, most acceptable 
and wonderfully exhilerating. An aged physician of my 
acquaintance, who lived in Connecticut, and died many 
years ago, in younger life, went with a party of Indian 
hunters, far northward on a hunting expedition, and fared 
in all respects, in the excursion, as the Indians ; on his 
return home he felt an unsatiable thirst for rum, and 
drank such a quantity as would at another time have laid 
him by, yet without any unfavorable effects. The old 

David McClure 7 1 

gentleman used to relate the adventure, and add that he 
could never blame an Indian for loving rum. He con- 
demned them, however for the excessive use of it, as the 
poor creatures do themselves after they have recovered 
from what they call a drunken frolic. For the conse- 
quence of such frolics, not unfrequently, are wounds & 


These savages are ignorant of the institution of this 
sacred day of Rest. 

I sent my Interpreter to the King, to inform him, that 
this day is the Sabbath of the white people, which they 
spent in the worship of the Great God and the instruction 
of religion ; and that if it was agreeable to him, I would 
speak to the people on religion. He sent me word, that 
it was agreeable. A messenger went through the town 
& summoned the people to the Council House. 

There was much the same assembly as I found there, and 
the same formality as the day after my arrival. I dis- 
coursed to them on the nature and duty of prayer, recapitu- 
lated in a summary manner the things which I was about 
to pray for, and then prayed. In this exercise they all 
stood and attended with decency. I then discoursed to 
them, on the advent of Jesus Christ into the world, & the 
atonement which he made for the sins of men, by his 
obedience, sufferings and death. It was a brief history of 
the life of our Saviour & of the necessity of repentence 
and faith. Some were attentive and appeared affected at 
the representation of the passion of J. X. As the Apostles 
preached Jesus Christ, at their first access to the Gentiles, 
I thought the divinely directed example was a warrant 
for me to attempt the same. The greater part of the 
audience appeared stupid and insensible of the importance 
of what was spoken. They smoaked their pipes in time 

72 Diary of 

of sermon, and at the conclusion of each sentence uttered 
a shout of applause, according to their custom. 

They gave me opportunity again in the afternoon to 
preach to them. My subject was the parable of the prod- 
igal, Luke 15, chapter. After sermon & prayer some of 
them asked questions, relative to what had been said. I 
sat down and conversed with them. My Interpreter, who 
appeared deeply impressed at the melancholy condition 
of his countrymen, conversed with great freedom, fluency 
& feeling on their spiritual state. With tears flowing 
from his eyes, he told them many solemn truths, and made 
an affectionate and serious application of the discourse to 
them. He enlarged upon what I had endeavoured to 
impress on them, that they were that prodigal son, and had 
wandered from God, and earnestly called upon them to con- 
sider their danger and their duty. I was pleased with his 
pious zeal & thought myself favored by having so faith- 
ful an Interpreter. After meeting he explained to me the 
substance of what he had said. 

The Indians here appear to be sunk deep in wickedness. 
Every night they have held a dance. It begins about 9 
O'Clock & continues almost through the night; and after 
the dance, it is said, there is a promiscuous cohabition 
among the young people. They are called to the dance 
by loud yells. The leader of the dance rattles a goad, in 
which are dried beans, and chants wild notes, beginning low 
& rising to a kind of scream or yell, in which all join, and 
keep exact time, with jumping back & forward, to the 
sound. The ground on which I slept trembled with their 
frantic mirth. 

28. Monday. Mr. Freeman, a trader, arrived from Pitts- 
burgh, by him I received a Letter from Mr. Frisbie, and have 
the satisfaction to find that he has recovered his health. 
Wrote to him, a few days past, informing him of the un- 
certainty of my continuing here, on account of the hostile 
appearence of the Indians. 

David McClure 73 

29. Tuesday. I informed Capt. Killbuck, that if any 
difficulties existed in the Council, respecting my proposal, 
which it was in my power to remove, I should be glad of 
an interview. He replied that they understood my speech 
to them well enough, and that when they could agree 
among themselves, they would give me an answer. 

This day some females brought about 18 Gallons of rum 
from Pittsburgh, employed by the traders there, to sell for 
them. The head men endeavoured to restrain the sale of 
it, but in vain. Pepee informed me that some of the head 
men, wished I would preach on sin, and tell them what it is. 
They observed that I had said, they must repent and for- 
sake their sins. They should be glad to know what they 
must forsake. I informed them that I would speak on sin, 
on the morrow, as it was then the close of the day. 

But in the evening the fatal liquid, rum, began to circu- 
late through the town ; not all the authority of the King 
& Council, nor their former positive law to restrain it, 
could stop the raging thirst of appetite. It was a dark 
and dreadful night. May that Almighty Guardian God, 
who has mercifully guided me hitherto, protect me 
through this night ! 


If to exhibit the vice of drunkenness in its odious de- 
formities, that their children might see & detest it, the 
Grecians made their slaves drink to excess and then ex- 
posed them to the sight of their children ; much more 
detestable and dreadful does that ruinous vice appear, in the 
intoxication of a town of savages, who have no dread of 
a master, or any government or law to restrain the most 
unbounded indulgence of this beastly vice. 

By midnight the body of the inhabitants, of both sexes, 
were drunk. Myself and my two companions committed 
ourselves to God in prayer, & I lay down upon my couch, 

74 Diary of 

which was composed of a Buffalo and Bear skin. We left 
the door upon the latch, concluding, that if any of the 
drunken rout should attempt to enter, to bar the door 
would make them more violent. The ground trembled 
with the trampling of feet ; hooping, yells, singing, laughter, 
and the voice of rage & madness, were blended in dread- 
ful discord, adding horror to the darkness of midnight. 

Some companies of them came successively to the door, 
and I expected them in every moment ; they were at times 
very boisterous. My Interpreter, who lay near the door, 
could hear their conversation. There providentially hap- 
pened, in every instance, to be some one among them, who 
dissuaded the rest from entering. This horrid scene gave 
some idea of the infernal regions, where sin & misery hold 
a universal sway. 

I rose with the appearence of light, & with an Indian 
trader, whom I met at the door, walked through the vil- 
lage. The noise and uproar continued. In one place 
sat several on the ground drinking rum, from wooden 
bowls — others lay stretched out in profound sleep — some 
were reeling and tumbling over the green, & one or two 
companies were fighting, and yelling in the most frightful 
manner. They fought like dogs, biting, scratching and the 
like. I stood a few minutes near one of these fighting 
companies, consisting of 5 or 6. 

It was a horrid spectacle. They seemed to use the 
most insulting language, but it is remarkable that their 
language is destitute of profane oaths. In the paroxisms 
of their rage, they broke out and swore in english, some 
horrid oaths & curses, using most profanely the name of 
God. This infernal language they, no doubt had learned 
from the unprincipled traders. It is said that the worst 
word that they can call each other in their own language, 
is dog or wolf, or the name of some ferocious animal. 

In our walk, a fierce Indian, mad with rage came up, and 
shaking his fist at me, used high & threatening words, as 

David McClure 75 

the trader informed me, although he did not well under- 
stand him. I was a little alarmed at his threatening 
gestures & wrathful voice and looks, as well as the angry 
looks of some others of their warriors. 

The men and women this morning were naked, except a 
piece of blue cloth, about their loins, to cover their shame. 
It is the nature of this shameless vice, to obliterate all 
sense of modesty. It is an invariable custom in their 
drunken frolics, for some to keep sober to prevent mischief, 
if possible. The duty of these wakeful guardians, is to 
disarm, and take the clothes of those who are beginning to 
drink. The arms, such as tomahawks knives &c, they 
secrete. They make no resistance. These watchmen 
however do not lose their share. They awaken some 
of the first drinkers who have slept away their drink, & 
these take their place, and then they go to drinking. 

I returned to my house, & hearing that the king and 
Capt 1 ? Killbuck were sober, I sent a request that they 
would take breakfast with me. I wished for their com- 
pany for personal security. They accordingly came. We 
sat around our table, which was a piece of plank resting 
on two kegs. My royal guest and his Councillor, regaled 
themselves with Chocolate and biscuit ; but I could not 
prevail with them to stay after they had finished their 
repast. The king expressed his sorrow at the state of 
the town. Kilbuck went and joined the rout. 

Finding my situation in these scenes of drunkenness 
and madness, unsafe, I concluded to ride with my inter- 
preter to a village 5 miles down the river. We went 
to look up our horses. In my absence, the warrior who 
threatened me, in the morning, had procured a club, and 
rushing into the house, in which was only the son of 
Kilbuck, asked for the white man, and flourishing the 
club said, he came to kill him. The young Indian, to 
divert him from the way I had gone, directed him to 
pursue me in an opposite direction. Turning from the 

7 6 Diary of 

door, eager to find me, he was stopped by another Indian, 
a stout young man, called young Beaver, who wrested 
the club from him, which was soon also taken from him 
& secreted. 

They were engaged in a bloody fight, at the time that I 
returned with my horse. The fight was in the house next 
to mine. By the noise and confusion within, one would 
imagine that a number were engaged in bloody conflict. 
I was ignorant of the cause until, in about 15 minutes, my 
interpreter arrived, and explained it. 

Before he arrived, I stood attending to the noise of 
the affray, and young Kilbuck, just mentioned, ran out 
of the house to me with a long bloody lock of hair, and 
smiling and talking presented it to me. Not knowing what 
it meant, I declined receiving it, he then stuck it on the 
outside of my house. This, I found by my interpreter 
was a trophy of victory, for my friend young Beaver had 
just torn it from the middle of the scalp of my enemy. 
I then thought it advisable to stay no longer ; but with 
Pepee rode expeditiously out of town. 

We were in hopes of finding peace & security at the 
village below, but in this we were disappointed. When 
we came in sight of it, we heard 

"The sound 
Of riot and ill manage'd merriment." 

Part of the rum had been sent to this village, and they 
were in the height of their frolic. We debated some time 
whether to go in, reluctant & 

" Loath 
To meet their rudeness and swill'd insolence." 

— Milton's Comus. 

My interpreter Pepee, had a cousin living there, whom 
he had not seen many years, it happened while we 
lingered at the entrance of the village, he came up to us. 

David McClure 77 

He was sober, very glad to see Pepee, and we followed 
him to his house. He shewed me great hospitality. 
Stakes of excellent venison roasted, and some sweet 
squashes which he baked in the embers, wrapped in 
large leaves were given us. After this repast, I slept 
soundly on his bear skin couch. When I awoke my 
interpreter only was present. He said his Cousin had 
been absent some time. I walked about the village. 
About one half of the inhabitants were intoxicated. 
They did not offer me any injury. Pepee who was 
respected universally by his countrymen, was a protec- 
tion. Such is the fondness of Indians for dissipation, 
that they are building a dancing house in this small 
village, which will cost them more labour, than one half 
of the houses in it. 

It was now an unfavorable time to say any thing on 
religion to the poor creatures of this place. A few days 
past, I was about to make them a visit, but was detained 
by the Councillors. They had manifested from my first 
coming an unwillingness that I should visit any of their 
villages, or see the country. 

The Muskingum is a beautiful country. The soil is 
rich and deep. The land gradually rises from the river & 
forms extensive meadows and plains. Some places are 
covered with luxuriant grass, & neither tree or bush grow- 
ing upon them for some miles in length and breadth, & 
in a state of immediate preperation for the plow. I some- 
times paused to enjoy the prospect, and was ready to an- 
ticipate the speedy approach of the time, when, there 
would be another race of people there, who would prop- 
erly estimate the advantages which that country will 
give to its future inhabitants. When populous town & 
cultivated fields shall arise ; and Schools and Colleges & 
Churches, erected for the advancement of Science and the 
honor of the Saviour be seen through that extensive & 
now howling wilderness. 

78 Diary of 

On our departure from the village, a little distance from 
the path, sat a number of Indians, drinking. One of them 
was the host who invited us to his house. Seeing me, he 
came hastily with a bowl of rum, of which he had drank 
so much as to make him feel sprightly, and said, "here, 
englishman, drink rum." I said my friend, I do not 
drink rum, and I hope you won't drink any more. It will 
get into your head & make you behave bad. He replied, 
in broken english, " little's good, too much, bad. Come, 
drink, drink." My interpreter told me it would give of- 
fence if I did not. I tasted it, he bowed, & joined his 

We arrived at Kekalemehpehoong, a little before sun 
setting. The Indians had nearly exhausted the quantity 
of rum. I found the king sober. He had ordered the 
remainder of the rum to be carried out of town, to a 
house about 2 miles up the river. A number were fast 
bound in sleep. Those who were able to walk, went 
along the bank of the river, following the keg of rum, 
which was carried in front. They made a long file, stag- 
gering and singing as they went. I was glad to see them 
depart. Among these poor savages, the Devil seems to 
hold an uncontrouled power. They appear to be given 
over to all manner of vice. To venture back among them, 
before they had finished the rum, especially considering 
what had taken place in the morning, was somewhat haz- 
ardous, and I should have tarried at the village, had I not 
apprehended that the night there might be similar to that 
which I had already passed. Seeing the drunkards go 
out of town, on our entrance, I persuaded myself that we 
should find rest. 

Accordingly the night following, the town was still, and I 
slept in peace. My companions were alarmed for my safety 
in the evening, for I had retired into the woods, partly to 
avoid being seen by the Indians, and for contemplation. It 
was to me a consoling consideration, that God rules in the 

David McClure 79 

moral as well as the natural world ; and that he will permit 
the wrath of the heathen to rage no further than shall be 
for his glory, and the best good of those who humbly con- 
fide in his almighty & fatherly protection. Under the 
omnipotent protection of his providence, who moves the 
planetary worlds, and all the stars in their regular order, 
beauty & harmony, I felt a humble confidence, that in 
the way of my duty, and feeble attempts to spread the 
knowledge of Christ among the heathen, I was most safe ; 
& to God endeavoured to commit myself. 

Thursday. The Indians, about 50 met in the Council 
House, and I preached to them with freedom, on Sin. My 
subject was drawn from the first chapter of the epistle to 
the Romans, in which the Apostle gives a dreadful cata- 
logue of the vices, to which the Gentiles were addicted. 
I dwelt particularly on the vices of drunkenness & forni- 
cation, which were shockingly common among those 
pagans. Some seemed affected with conscious guilt. 
One observed to my Interpreter, after Sermon, " that if 
all the things which I had mentioned were sins, he be- 
lieved that all were sinners, and no one was free from sin." 
Another asked him, how the white man knew what he 
had done, and who told him ? for said he, he mentioned 
all the bad things 1 have ever done, and he talked to none 
but me? Thus the Divine Spirit is pleased in some in- 
stances, to make application of the word even to a heathen, 
who only occasionally hears it. But this Indian shunned 
me ; and his temporary conviction served to make him 
my enemy. 

They gave me liberty to preach again to them the next 
day. I preached to them to-day (Friday) on the deprav- 
ity of our nature, and sins of the heart. The audience 
was small and attentive. At the close, I mentioned that I 
would preach again the next day, Saturday, Sept. 3. 
Having shown them, in preceding discourses the Apostacy 
and pollution of our nature by sin, and the condemnation 

80 Diary of 

of sin on all men, to-day I gave them an historical account 
of the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, his Obedience 
& satisfaction for sin, and the terms of pardon & life 
through him. 


Oct. 4. This day they seemed more disposed to noise 
& merriment, and to ramble about, than usual. With 
taking pains, I got about 40 to assemble in the afternoon, 
and spake with freedom and great plainness on some of the 
most important truths of the gospel, particularly on a new 
heart, repentence, faith and a life of religion, as necessary 
to happiness after death. 

Some were affected and wept. In my discourse yester- 
day, I mentioned the necessity of their receiving the word 
of God, to their present and future happiness. After I had 
done preaching today, the Speaker, who apppears to be 
a very sensible and thoughtful person, said to me, " you 
have told us that we must receive what is in the book 
(meaning the bible). We believe there is one Almighty 
Monetho, who made all things ; he is the father of the 
Indians and of the White people. He loves one as well as 
the other. You say, he sent you that book a great while 
ago. He has not sent it to us. If he intended it for us, 
he would have let us know it, at the same time that he 
let you know it. We don't deny that the book is good and 
intended for you, and no doubt, when you want to know 
what you should do, you must look into that book ; but 
the Great Monetho has given us knowledge here, (point- 
ing to his forehead) & when we are at a loss what to do, 
we must think." The king was present and all seemed 
waiting for an answer. It was a deistical objection, 
founded in the pride of erring reason, and more than I 
expected from an uncultivated heathen. I spoke to him 
of the sovereignty of God in his gifts to nations, and to 
individuals. That he was under no obligations to shew 

David McClure 81 

favor to any of his offending creatures. That the will of 
God revealed in the bible, teaching men their duty and 
the way to endless happiness, was a favor that none could 
claim : but in his great mercy to lost sinners, he had been 
pleased to communicate it to one nation in former ages, 
and commanded them to make it known to others. That 
the English were one of the last of the nations, to whom 
it was communicated ; and that we now knowing and re- 
joicing in the light which that holy book, let into our 
minds, in all our duty, and guiding us to heaven, were 
desirous that our brethren in the wilderness, should know 
the good news which it reveals. And God had com- 
manded us, to convey to them the knowledge of it. To 
this he made no reply, but immediately started another 
objection, as follows, 

" If we take your religion, we must leave off war, and 
become as women, and then we shall be easily subdued 
by our enemies." Having answered him, that we who 
embraced this religion were not subdued by our enemies, 
but were free and powerful ; and that by embracing & 
practicing the duties which the bible commands, they 
would be the same &c. 

He again objected, "The white people, with whom we 
are acquainted, are worse, or more wicked than we are, 
and we think it better to be such as we are than such as 
they are." 

I gave Pepee some directions in answer, knowing him 
capable of it. He enlarged with great zeal and ability. 
Among other observations, he said, " the white people, 
whom you are acquainted with, (meaning the traders) are 
no Christians ; they do not know or do the things which 
God has told them in the Bible. No, Christians will not 
receive them into their society. If you want to see 
christians you must go to Philadelphia. There you will 
see good people, who love the word of the Great God, 
and mind it." 


82 Diary of 

He then spake very solemnly & affectionately, on their 
deplorable state, and told them, unless they reformed, 
their ruin would speedily come. 

" We remember, said he, that our fathers told us, 
how numerous the Indians were in their days, & in the 
days of their fathers. Great towns of Indians were all 
along the sea shore, and on the Rivers, and now, if you 
travel through that country, you will scarcely see an 
Indian ; but you will see great and flourishing towns of 
white people, who possess the land of our fathers. And 
we are cut off, and fall back upon these distant rivers, 
and are reduced to a small number. The white people 
increase, and we Indians decrease. I can tell you, my 
countrymen, the reason of this. The white people wor- 
ship the true God, and please him, and God blesses and 
prospers them. We and our fathers worshiped Devils, or 
them that are no Gods, and therefore God frowns upon 
us. And if you continue ignorant of him, when you have 
opportunity to know God and worship him, he will cut 
you off, & give this good country to a people that shall 
serve him. And if it shall be asked what has become of 
the Indians that lived here? none will be able to tell. 
You will be cut off, and your children as a great many 
powerful Indian nations have been, and none of them are 
left." The above is the substance of a lengthy prophetic 
kind of speech of good Joseph. I observed that it took 
hold of them. King, Councillors & warriors, who were 
present, hung down their heads and made no reply. A 
similar conversation he held yesterday after sermon. 
Yesterday one of the Chiefs returned from the neighbor- 
ing towns, where he had gone to collect their minds, 
relative to my continuing among them, & this evening a 
Council was held on the subject. 

Oct. 6. Monday. After breakfast, was about to ride a 
few miles, to an Indian family, the friends of my Interpre- 
ter, but was desired by one of the Chiefs not to go. I 

David McClure S3 

perceived that my movements were watched, and that it 
was their intention, that I should not visit other Indians. 

Today the King sent for me to his house. I found 
him with 6 or 7 of his Council. The Speaker, in the 
name of the King, delivered the following Laconic answer. 

" My brother, I am glad you have come among us, 
from such a great distance, & that we see each other, and 
rejoice that we have had an opportunity to hear you 
preach. Brother, you will now return home & when you 
get there give my love to them that sent you. I have 
done speaking." 

The prospect of being instrumental of much good to 
these poor & perishing heathen, was no more. I asked 
him, if this short answer was the result of their long con- 
sideration on the disinterested and benevolent errand on 
which I had come? And that I was very sorry that they 
had rejected an offer intended for their greatest good. 

I conversed with them some time, & asked them what 
reasons, in particular, I should give to the great & good 
men who had sent me, for their rejection of the offer now 
made to them. One of them, with expressions of anger, 
said they did not like that the white people should 
settle upon the Ohio. They destroyed their hunting. 
That it was necessary that the friendship between King 
George and them, should be made more firm and strong, 
before they could receive the english so much into favor, 
as to take their religion. That when they were ready 
they would let us know it. I mentioned that it was our 
intention to have procured a school master to instruct 
their children, and also to furnish them some utensils for 
husbandry, and a grist mill, (as our worthy patron Dr. 
Wheelock had authorized us so to do, and for that purpose 
had given us blanks, for bills of Exchange, on the School's 
funds in Scotland,) for the pious and benevolent, among 
the english, were greatly desirous to promote their com- 
fort in this world, as well as their happiness after death ; 

84 Diary of 

and that they expected and desired no reward from them ; 
that the labour and expence would all be ours, and the 
benefits all their own. But that I was sorry that they 
had now excluded themselves from these kind offers of 
their brethren, the white people. An aged Councillor 
& warrior, who had never come to hear me preach, but 
was violently opposed to my continuance with them, was 
present, and appeared to scoff at these proposals. I 
thanked them for their civilities, and mentioned my satis- 
faction that I had had opportunity to speak to them, on 
the great things of religion, and prayed that God would 
make what they had heard, of lasting good to some souls. 
I rose and bid them farewell. Capt? Killbuck came out 
with me, & said he would accompany me to Fort Pitt. 
He, and others, appeared a little surprised at the offer of 
implements of husbandry. " He said, perhaps, the Coun- 
cil will change their minds ; and that they had prepared a 
lengthy speech to deliver to me, but that one who was 
violently opposed, spoiled it all." 

From the hostile appearence of things, I had, for sev- 
eral days, entertained apprehensions of my personal safety,, 
and that I should not, after a while, be indulged the lib- 
erty of leaving them. The following circumstances were 
the ground of my apprehensions. 

i. My interpreter, one of their countrymen, was ad- 
mitted to their confidence, & from them he received in- 
formation, that a War Belt had been sent to them and 
the Indians of neighboring tribes, informing them, that 
the english Colonists refused to obey the Great King of 
England ; and if he should send an army to chastize them r 
his allies and friends, the Indians, were invited to join 
them. The information of this early hostile intention of 
the agents of the british government, I received also from 
others. The rumor had also spread among the people 
of the new settlements, as I found on my return to Pitts- 
burgh, and some inquired of me concerning it. The per- 

David McClure 85 

son suspected of sending it, was Col? George Croghern, 
Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs. 

Thus early commenced the plan of subjugating the 
Colonies, and of calling in the infernal aid of the savages, 
to accomplish the work. 

2. While at Muskingum, news arrived that the british 
troops were dismantling Fort Pitt, and were about to leave 
the country. The warriors could not conceal their joy 
at this event. The Fort had been a bridle upon them 
hitherto, to restrain their murders & depredations on the 

3. Some of the warriors had expressed to me their 
extreme resentment at the encroachments of the white 
people, on their hunting ground, and extending their set- 
tlements to the Ohio. I asked one of them, " Have not 
the white people bought the land and paid you " ? " Yes." 
— " Well, then they have a right to use it." " No ; not 
so," he replied " for when you white men buy a farm, you 
buy only the land. You don't buy the horses and cows 
& sheep. The Elks are our horses, the Buffaloes are our 
cows, the deer are our sheep, & the whites shan't have 

This is a short specimen of indian reasoning on property. 

4. Thirteen days, King and Council met, and as they 
pretended, on the business on which, I had come, but I 
found their consultations were on the subject of hostility 
against the frontiers. At the King's house I saw an un- 
commonly large Belt of Wampum, about 5 feet in length. 
The ground work was grey wampum. 9 diamond figures 
of white wampum, and a line of the same colour, running 
through them, from one end to the other. 

I asked the King, the meaning & use of it. " He said, 
Sir William Johnson, has advised the nations to unite 
and live in peace, and this is a Belt of Union. Eight na- 
tions have taken hold of it, & I am going to send it to 
the Chipewas, who live near Lake Huron." 

86 Diary of 

Several circumstances at that time persuaded me that 
the proposed Union was for a bad purpose as afterwards 

Such being my apprehensions, I wrote to Capt? Arthur 
St. Clair, with whom I had the honor of some acquaint- 
ance, and mentioned the circumstances that appeared to 
indicate the hostile disposition of the Indians. He after- 
wards informed me that he communicated the information 
to Gen. Gage, then at New York. 

Tuesday 7. About to visit Waukataumaka, an Indian 
town about 24 miles distant ; but finding that it was dis- 
approved of by one of the Chiefs, I gave it up, and pre- 
pared for my return to Pittsburgh. Joseph Pepeesetout 
with his Wife, who had come for him, to go to the new 
moravian town, ' and I bid him, who had been my faith- 
ful Interpreter a long farewell. He was an Indian of 
good principles, temperate, and of unblemished morals. 
Nickels had been absent part of the time, visiting his in- 
dian acquaintance, for whom he had a friendship, from 
his early days of captivity among them. 


In the town were two captives, one a female, captivated 
in infancy, from Path Valley, of the name of Eliot. She 
appeared perfectly naturalized, and conformed to the In- 
dian customs and dress. I saw her frequently at work 
with the squaws, pounding corn. She appeared to be a 
stout & healthy young woman. I believe she could 
not speak the english language, and knowing no condi- 
tion other than savage life, probibly was as contented as 
her indian companions. It is not unlikely that the fam- 
ily were slain when she was taken, and no friends have 
appeared to reclaim her. 

1 At Schonbrunn, in the present township of Goshen, about fifteen miles to 
the northeast. Founded in the preceding August by the migration of the 
converted Susquehanna Indians, under Messrs. Ettwein and Roth. 

David McClure 87 

The other was a well built young man, of the name of 
Hamilton, who was captivated from some part of Mary- 
land, on the river Potomac, at the age of 9 years. He 
was conformed to indian manners. His head shaved & 
painted and his dress ornamented with beads, broaches 
&c. His countenance was manly and ingenious. I had 
frequent opportunities of conversation with him, and al- 
though he could talk common english, yet such was his 
pride of indian dignity and independence, that he would 
not converse, except by my interpreter. I advised 
him to leave the Indians and return to his kindred & 
friends, for he said, he believed he had a brother and an 
Uncle in Maryland. I conversed usually with him, in 
the absence of the Indians, for fear of offence. He told 
me, he should be glad to see his brother, & desired me 
to write to him, to come & see him. 

I set before him the advantages of his returning to the 
english ; and the deplorable condition in which he would 
live & die, should he continue there, as to the knowledge 
of God, and the way to happiness. He told me he was 
very happy, and innumerated the little articles of his 
property, such as 4 or 5 horse loads of peltry, blankets 
&c. " And here, says he, I go and come as I please, and 
the King is my Uncle ; (he was adopted into the Royal 
family) but if I go among the white people they will make 
me a Slave." I assured him to the contrary, and engaged, 
that if he should not like to continue with his kindred, he 
might return. I felt unwilling that so promising a youth 
should be lost ; but I had despaired of success, until the 
morning of my departure, when he came to me, looking 
thoughtful, and said, " my friend, you have often advised 
me to return to my english friends, and now I have con- 
cluded to go." I encouraged him in the good resolution ; 
but we both thought it not advisable for him to set out 
until a day or two after my departure, lest the Indians, 
who were very fond of him, should be alarmed. He said, 

88 Diary of 

" I will see you at Fort Pitt," and bade me farewell for a 
little while. To finish the story here. A few days after 
my arrival there, I had the pleasure to see him. He fol- 
lowed me after two days. Providentially, his brother, 
happened to be in the frontiers of Pennsylvania, and heard 
of his arrival and hastened to Pittsburgh. He took him to 
a store, and clothed him in english dress ; but he still re- 
tained so much of the Indian as to paint his face & head 
with vermillion and black. I told him, I hoped he would 
now go and live with his friends, who loved him, & 
would always be kind to him. He said he should not go 
to live with the Indians, but thought it was likely he 
should go & trade with them. 

There is an unknown charm in the Indian life, which 
surprizingly attaches white people ; those especially who 
have been captivated in early life. Whether it is, that un- 
controuled liberty, which is found among savages, — or that 
freedom from all anxiety and care for futurity, which they 
appear to enjoy, or that love of ease, which is so agreeable 
to the indolence of human nature, or all these combined, 
the fact is established by numerous instances of english 
& french captives, who have resisted the most affection- 
ate and inviting alurements to draw them, and chose to 
spend their days among their adopted Indian friends. 


The most savage nations of the world, have some idea 
of a being or existances superior to man ; and generally 
believe in the existance of the soul after death. 

The Indian tribes, bordering on European settlements, 
have probably fewer impressions of a religious nature, 
than those who have little or no intercourse with us, be- 
cause the former have their minds habitually stupified by 
intemperence. Of the religious principles & practices of 
the Delawares, and other indian tribes on our borders, 
little can be said. 

David McClure 89 

They have no special season, or day consecrated to re- 
ligious worship. No temples, priests or religious rites. 
The religious notions and practices of individuals are such 
as are the effect of imperfect reasoning — of their fears & 
hopes, or the traditions handed down from their fathers. 

They absurdly believe in two principles who made & 
govern the world between them. One they call the Good 
Monetho, the other the Evil Monetho. In this respect 
they adopt the ancient opinion of the disciples of Manes, 
or Plato's principle of Light and Darkness. They believe 
that all good in the natural and moral world is from the 
Good, & all evil and misery, from the Evil Monetho. 
To the Evil principle they pray when sick, or in trouble ; 
and it is by pretended power from him alone, that their 
Conjurors or Powwows, derive all their skill to heal the 
sick, or to inflict evil on their enemies. 

On my return from Muskingum, I visited an aged sick 
Indian, at a Village on the Ohio. His limbs were con- 
tracted by paralytic or convulsive fits. He told me he 
had been hurt by witches, meaning I conclude Con- 
jurors, 30 years ago ; but he had been cured by a friendly 
Conjuror. "And the Conjuror, said he, of this place, is 
trying his skill upon me, & I believe will cure me ; for 
the Devil (Evil Monetho), keeps him alive to cure such as 
he chuses should be healed ; and he is a little Devil him- 
self. For they can't kill him. They have tomahawked 
him, and thrown him into the river, but the great Devil 
keeps him alive." I told him that he must pray to the 
Good Monetho. That there was but one God, and the 
Devil was subject to his government, and could do nothing 
without his permission. He replied I have always be- 
lieved otherwise, & shall pray to the Evil Monetho. 

I was informed that the Delawares, as well as other 
tribes, have annually, what is called, a Fall Hunt, when 
they all turn out in pursuit of game, & hold a grand 
feast, of which all partake. That at this feast, the Chief 

90 Diary of 

of the Nation publickly offers up a short solemn prayer to 
the Good Spirit, thanking him for life and health, and suc- 
cess in hunting, and praying for the continuence of those 
favors through the ensuing Year. They present the skins 
of the animals, and a considerable part of the meat to the 
widows and the aged. Some of the flesh they burn, as 
an offering to their gods. 


They enrap the corpse in bark, & bury it about three 
feet. They then raise a covering of bark over it, leaving 
a little space between the body and the upper covering, 
to prevent the earth pressing upon it, and lay earth upon 
the covering. This they do, from the idea that the 
soul, after death, remains hovering about the corpse, & 
holds some connection with it, until it putrifies. On the 
same principle, they carry, for some time, every evening, 
some provisions, and lay it by the side of the grave. The 
hungry dogs which abound in all their towns, devour it ; 
but they profess to believe that the departed friend eats 
it. They sometimes bury bows and arrows, wampum, 
spoons &c. with the dead. They explain this by be- 
lieving that everything animate and inanimate has a 
spirit : that the Spirit of the deceased, in the other world, 
makes use of the spirit of the bow & arrow, to kill the 
spirit of game. 1 A great number of high posts stand at 
the graves of the chiefs & warriors, & poles at the graves 
of others. The posts are painted with rough hyroglifics, 
descriptive of their war expeditions &c. 


The Indians, formerly, were more chaste & continent 
than they have been since their connection with the 
english, & their free use of rum. 

1 For a more particular description of the State of the good & of the 
wicked, after death, see the Rev. David Brainard's Journal among the 
Delawares. (Note by author.) 

David McClure 91 

The first marriage is attended with some formality. 
The connection is, sometimes, brought about by the 
agreement of the parents of the parties. The young man 
presents to the object of his choice, some cakes of indian 
bread ; if she accepts them, they cohabit ; but if she 
rejects them, he must look somewhere else for a partner. 
They seperate for trivial causes, and marry or cohabit, 
without much ceremony with others. If they have chil- 
dren, it is said ; they are left with the mother. 

Several of the aged Councillors had lived with one 
wife from their youth ; but a great part of husbands & 
wives at Kekalemahpehoong, had seperated and taken 
others. I was astonished at the profligate description 
which young Killbuck (whose father had directed him to 
lodge in my house, and to wait on me), gave me of him- 
self. He slept in a loft which was ascended by a ladder, 
at the further end of the house. He conducted a squaw 
up the ladder every night. I asked him, one day, if it was 
his Wife ? He said, No. I admonished him for his con- 
duct. He said, he was 19 years old, and had had several 
wives, and that he wanted one more, and he should be 
happy. It is natural to expect that but few children, can 
be the fruit of such unbounded licenciousness. On an 
average they are about 2 or 3 to a family. 


Much has been said and written, on the subject of 
appearances like fortifications, which are found all over the 
country of the Ohio. I saw 3 or 4, but they were not 
large. The walls enclosed perhaps a rood of ground. 
One on the south bank of the river Connemoh, was an 
oblong circle, the walls nearly meeting at the bank. It 
appeared that the space, was intended for a sally port, or 
passage to the water. The walls appear to be of solid 
earth, about 3 feet high, & a small cavity, like a ditch, on 
the outside. Large trees are growing out of the walls as 

92 Diary of 

well as within them. One near Kekalemahpehoong was 
about the same dimensions. They are very ancient artificial 
works, for the present inhabitants can give no account of 
the builders, or the design of them. Some suppose them 
to have been intended for places of Public Worship ; but 
the more probible conjecture is, that they were built for 
defence. There is nothing in them that discovers much 
knowledge of architecture or civilization. Mr. John 
Irwine of Pittsburgh gave me the plan of a very large one, 
which he saw on the Scioto. The Ditches were deep & 
wide, the walls high, with openings or gateways, and the 
appearence of Bastions. No iron tool has ever been 
found in them, or in all the Indian country ; and without 
this most necessary of all metals, they must have made 
very slow progress in fortification. Probibly the walls of 
those conjectural forts were higher, & have been worn 
down by the waste of time. Perhaps a town or village 
adjoined each fort, and when invaded, they abandoned 
the town & retired with the women and children into the 
forts, from the walls of which they could better annoy the 
enemy, & defend themselves. The works that I saw 
were all on or near the bank of a stream or river, and had 
a passage way to the water. 

At this town is a small hillock or Tumulus : on which, 
a trader told me, he wished to build a small trading 
house ; but the Indians forbad him. They told him it 
was a grave where many were buried ; but they would 
not inform him, whether they were friends or enemies. 
Perhaps a number died of the small pox, & were buried 
together. This disorder in time past made dreadful de- 
struction. The hot houses and cold baths were fatal 
applications. Another Tumulus about 12 feet high, in 
the form of a Pyramid, I saw at Logs town, which was 
once the seat of Indians. Mouldered human bones are 
found by digging into them. I was informed at Pitts- 
burgh, that when the Delawares, Shawanese & others, 

David McClure 93 

laid seige suddenly and most traitorously to Fort Pitt, in 
1764, in a time of peace, the people within, found means 
of conveying the small pox to them, which was far more 
destructive than the guns from the walls, or all the 
artillery of Col? Boquet's army, which obliged them to 
abandon the enterprise. 

The Delawares live in 10 or 12 Villages, principally on 
the Muskingum, and can raise about 250 fighting men. 
One branch of the nation are in New Jersey : are christian- 
ized, and were under the care of the Rev. Mr. John 

The Shawanese are about 200 miles south of Muskin- 
gum, on the Scioto, & can raise nearly the same number. 
These have always shown great opposition to Christianity, 
and have great hatred of the Long Knife, which is the 
name given by them to the Virginians. The whites on 
the extensive frontiers of Virginia, are generally white 
Savages, and subsist by hunting, and live like the Indians 
Murders between them and Indians, when they meet in 
hunting, are said sometimes to happen. 

The Wiandots, who are a smaller tribe, live on the 
River Sandusky, near Lake Erie. These three Nations, 
are tributary to the Six Nations, or the Iroquois. 1 The 
latter claim the country south of Ontario & Erie, by 
conquest of the former inhabitants, the Catawbas ; the 
remnent of which nation, now live on the Catawba river, 
in the bounds of N. Carolina. 

The Delaware & Shawanese nations removed from 

1 The original seat of the Iroquois, was on & about the River Sorel, 
and North of the St. Lawrence, and in the neighborhood of Montreal. The 
Algonquins, from the north, made war upon them, & drove them south ; 
and these in their turn drove out and destroyed the nations who lived in the 
Genesee & Mohawk countries, and extended their conquests south to the 
Wabash. They afterwards turned their arms against the Algonquins & 
Hurons, their ancient enemies ; but the French joining the latter, put a 
stop to their carier. Hence the hatred of the 6 Nations to the French. 
(Note by the author.) 

94 Diary of 

the Atlantic Rivers, into this country, and possess it by 
sufference. It is said that they are obliged to furnish the 
warriors of the Six Nations with accommodations and 
provisions, if demanded, in their march through the coun- 
try, in their wars with the Cherokees & other southern 


The frequency of war among Savages, is to be ac- 
counted for, principally, from the depravity of human 
nature, which is more prompt to revenge an injury, than 
to reward a good action. The Indians seem to look upon 
others, who are not of their tribe, or in alliance with them, 
as enemies. 

There appears to be two powerful motives particularly, 
which prompt them to frequent wars. 

i. It is the only road to honour & authority. He 
who discovers most bravery in war, who has obtained the 
scalps of their enemies, or taken the greatest number of 
prisoners, received wounds, or brought off the field their 
own killed and wounded, is honored by his countrymen. 
He is likely to rise to the rank of a Captain, Chief or 
Sachem. Distinguished respect is paid at his death, and 
his name & exploits are long celebrated in their war songs. 
On the other hand, he who has never hazarded his life in 
the field, is dishonored by being called a woman, and 
esteemed of little worth. 

Their young men, who thirst for fame & immortality 
to their names, if they can find no enemy nigh, will seek 
one, perhaps, a iooo miles distant. Thus the Six Nations, 
having conquered the nations around them, or formed 
alliances with them, carried their arms into the distant 
country of the Cherokees, and yearly sent out their par- 
ties to kill, scalp & captivate a people, who had not in- 
jured them. This hostile practice they have been in, 
perhaps, nearly a century. 

While I was at Oneida, in 1766, a party of Oneidas & 

David McClure 95 

Mohawks, set out on an expedition into that country, 
(about 30 in number.) I asked one of them, why they 
went to war with the Cherokees, as they never came into 
their country to injure them ? He replied, " A great 
while ago some of them spilt the blood of some of our 
fathers, and we go there to revenge." Their manner of 
marching, & subsistance & time spent in those remote 
crusades, their stratagems & mode of attack, the dread- 
ful carnage among the unsuspecting poor Cherokees, the 
conflagration of their villages, the captives & manner of 
retreat &c. have been related to me by some of the war- 
riors, but the account would be too lengthy and distress- 
ing to the feelings of humanity, to be inserted here. 

2. Another powerful motive prompting Indians to fre- 
quent wars, is the increase of the game of the wilderness, 
and to make their subsistance less laborious. As they 
derive but a small part of their subsistance from the soil, 
their dependence is on the wild game of the forest. At a 
moderate computation, it requires not less than one thou- 
sand acres to support a single family of Indians. The 
game lessens as the Indians increase ; and on the reverse, 
the fewer the number of Indians, the greater is the plenty 
of game. Nations have bounds affixed by custom or 
agreement, to their walks in hunting ; but they are not 
commonly very scrupelous to trespas on the hunting 
grounds of a bordering nation, and this conduct of indi- 
viduals, sometimes is the commencement of a war, that 
ceases not, except with the extirpation of the weaker 
party. To destroy the game of the territory of another 
nation, is in their view, as much a violation of property, 
as it would be deemed among us, should one farmer take 
possession of the land of his neighbour & cultivate it, or 
carry off part of his harvest. 

The same principle has operated to excite the several 
risings of the Indians against the English colonies, from 
the beginning of their settlements. Hence the long & 

96 Diary of 

distressing indian wars of New England by the Narragan- 
setts, Pequots, & the extensive plan of their total extirpa- 
tion under the famous King PJiilip of Mount Hope in 1676, 
& several subsequent attempts since that time, in dif- 
ferent parts of the country. I find this principle now in 
powerful operation among the Delawares. Several of 
them expressed to me their resentment at the english, in 
settling on their hunting ground ; and I found that they 
waited only a favorable opportunity, forcibly to drive 
them off. One of their warriors, once asked me : " What 
were the number of the English?" To whom I gave a 
description of some of our large towns, & number of in- 
habitants, from NY Hampshire to Georgia. Chagrin 
and anger appear'd on his countenance at the statement. 
He replied, " You white men, think that we Indians, are 
no more than a handful ; but you are much mistaken. 
If we were all collected, all the country between this and 
Fort Pitt, would not be sufficient to contain us. There is 
a town of Chippewas, beyond Lake Huron, that is 40 
Bowshots long, & 40 Bowshots wide, and it is full of Ind- 
ians." To impress me with an idea of their numbers & 
power, he launched out into hyperbole far beyond the 



The Ohio country abounds in springs of brackish or 
saltish water. Several of these we saw, going & return- 
ing from the Muskingum. One particularly was large, 
forming a wet spungy space of ground, into which paths 
were made by Buffaloes, Deer & Elk, and the ground in 
the paths leading to the water, was trodden down, in some 
places, 10 or 12 inches below the surface, as though worn 
by the feet of men & horses. All graminivorous animals 
are fond of salt, and the country affords them an abun- 
dant repast. Near these licks the Indian hunters lie, pa- 
tiently waiting for the unsuspecting game, who eagerly 
press down to the water. In such an oozy, saltish swamp, 

David McClure 97 

as I was informed by Dr. Connelly, are found the big 
bones of the animal called the Mammoth, in the Ken- 
tucky country. The soil of that famous Lick consists of 
a glutenous clay or kind of bitumen, in which, probibly, 
the whole heard of Mammoths, mired & perished. In a 
visit make to that Lick by the Doctor in 1771, he found 
a company of Buffaloes feeding around it, and one of them 
mired in the clay, which he shot, & venturing to him, to 
cut off a slice for a repast, his feet stuck so fast in the 
glutinous soil, that he was obliged to call for the assist- 
ance of his servent to help him out. In a N. Western di- 
rection from said Lick, on the River Missouri, a french 
traveller informed him, that he had seen the intire skele- 
ton of one of these enormous animals. The probibility 
is, that they came from Siberia or Tartary, where it is 
said these animals once existed, to this continent, across 
the narrow straits which seperates America from Asia, in 
some remote period. 

It has been conjectured that the Mammoth was car- 
niverous. I should imagine, however, that it found a 
more easy and abundant subsistance in the luxurient pro- 
duce of the earth, in wild fruits, grass, bushes and the 
succulent limbs of trees ; not to notice the difficulty which 
so bulkey an animal would find to catch the small & 
agile game of the woods, and the ease with which they 
could keep out of the way. 

This greatest of the works of the Creator, among the 
beasts that ever roamed over the earth, must have been, 
to judge from the bones already found, not less than 16 or 
18 feet in heighth. Col? Croghern of Pittsburgh, sent 
part of a Tusk of the Mammoth to the Royal Society, 
and it was pronounced by them to be genuine ivory. 


There are no data from which we can calculate any very 
remote antiquity, to the first settlement of this continent, 

98 Diary of 

by the Indians. Probibly the first inhabitants came into 
it, since the commencement of the Christian Era : and 
that they came principally, across Bhering' s Straits from 
Kamkatska & Tartary. This conjecture is confirmed by 
the general tradition of all the Indians, (except a few 
tribes on the N. Eastern coast,) that their ancestors came 
from the North West, to this Island, as it was supposed 
to be, at the time of their immigration, and as it is called 
by them, to this day. 

The fathers who settled New England, took possession 
of the land, under the notion that they found it, accord- 
ing to the phrase then in use, Domicilium vacuum, (a 
vacant territory). But they afterwards, finding the Ind- 
ians claiming it as their territory, as hunting or fishing 
ground, made payment to their satisfaction. Some they 
also possessed by right of conquest. The greater part of 
the continent was a vacant territory. Had the Indians 
settled here in a very remote period, it would, no doubt, 
have been more populous. There are no monuments of 
great antiquity to be found, except the supposed earth 
forts, and the probability is, that they are not very ancient. 

A profound scholar, and the father of the writers on 
the prophecies (Joseph Mede. See his Works in Folio.) 
has a curious conjecture respecting the first peopling of 
America. It is in substance the following, viz. That the 
Devil, who was worshipped by the Gentiles, and to whom 
magnificent temples were everywhere erected, finding his 
oracles struck dumb, and his votaries embracing the doc- 
trines of the cross, proclaimed by the inspired apostles ; 
determined to remove some colonies of his subjects beyond 
the bounds of the christian doctrine, and as that Prince of 
the power of the air, has often attempted to imitate the 
works of God, by some visible signs, or voices from his in- 
infernal oracles, he called them out to follow him to a good 
land, which he should shew them ; and that they followed 
him by some appearences in the air, like the pillar of fire and 

David McClure 99 

cloud that conducted Israel from Egypt to the land of Ca- 
naan ; that he finally led them down to the Mexican Lake, 
where rude & bloody rites and services were consecrated 
to him, and temples erected, in which multitudes of human 
sacrifices were offered. May the light of the gospel still 
pursue him, & drive him from those dark abodes, and 
every where destroy his dreadful dominion among the 
children of pagan darkness ! 

Had the contiguity of America to the eastern shores 
of Asia, been known in the days of Mr. Mede, no doubt he 
would have been more confirmed in his conjectures. A 
circumstance, corroborating the conjecture, may be that 
the Indians universally pay, what little worship they 
render, to invisible powers, to the Devil, or the Evil 


The languages of the different nations, whose seats 
were within the bounds of New England, appear to have 
been different dialects of one radical language. Among 
the Delawares at Muskingum, I found several words of 
the Stockbridge Indian dialect ; and Mr. Occom who 
was acquainted with several languages, besides his native 
mohegan, informed me that the language of the Indian 
nations along the seacoast from New England to Georgia, 
was radically the same, of which he conjectured that the 
Mohegan was the mother tongue ; and in confirmation of 
this, said that the name of the River Mississippi, was a 
mohegan word, signifying a River of many streams. He 
pronounced it, Mis-sis-seep. 


1772. Friday, Octb r g. Set out in company with a Mr. 
Freeman, an Indian trader, & his servant, and friend 
Nickels, to return to Pittsburgh. We had fine weather, 
and killed plenty of wild game, particularly Turkies, with 
which the woods abounded. 

ioo Diary of 

At the Mingo town, about 70 miles below Pittsburgh, 
I found a sick Indian, with whom I had a conversation. 
The Conjuror who was to hold a powwow over him at 
night, came into the Indian house, where I entered. His 
face and body were frightfully painted with different 
colours. He looked upon me with severe attention, with- 
out speaking a word. Disliking his appearence, as well 
as that of some others in the village, I concluded it would 
be most advisable to cross the River Ohio, although it 
was dark ; and encamp on the opposite side. Accord- 
ingly we crossed in a Canoe, swimming our horses, kindled 
a fire and pitched our tent on english ground. About 
10 O'Clock, the noise of the powwow sounded across the 
river, & the doleful echoes resounded through the woods. 
I thought it prudent to leave the town, partly because 
it was probable that the conjuror, in case of the failure 
of success in his infernal incantations to heal the sick man, 
might be disposed to attribute it, to my presence, & be- 
cause the village consisted of a banditti of plundering drink- 
ing wretches. They permitted us to rest undisturbed. 

On my arrival at Pittsburgh, found Mr. Frisbie in com- 
fortable health. In my absence he had frequently preached 
to the people there, and in neighboring settlements. 

Driven from the present prospect of usefulness among 
the Indians, by hostile appearences of affairs, we con- 
cluded to spend some months among the vacant & new 
settlements in those parts, where the numbers are daily 
increasing ; as they had expressed an earnest desire that 
we would preach to them. I engaged to preach in rota- 
tion to five settlements, 1 between Ligonier and the Yohi- 
ogeny river. Another motive for continuing there, was 
the hope, though a distant hope, that the hearts of the 
Indians might be inclined to our return to them. 

Octb r 14. We crossed the Monongehala, and ascended 

1 Jacob's Swamp, Ligonier, Proctor's Tent, Squirrel Island, and Stewart's 

David McClure 101 

the top of the hill, opposite Pittsburgh, to take a view of 
the effects of the fire on its top, which has been burn- 
ing more than 12 months. The fire among the coal has 
formed a basin or crater, 60 or 70 yards in circumference, 
and killed the trees and herbage some distance around. 
As I sat near the edge, I perceived the ground warm, and 
forcing a staff through the surface, there appeared to be 
a cavity, and the staff came out black and smoaking. 
Should the fire continue a Volcano may be formed of the 
sulphurious coal. Some ineffectual efforts had been made 
to extinguish it. 1 

18. Preached in the Fort, on the blindness of man by 
nature, in spiritual things. The soldiers were attentive 
& some of them seemed to be impressed with the truth. 

19. In consequence of orders from General Gage, the 
garrison are preparing to depart. They have begun to 
destroy the fortress. This is matter of surprise & grief 
to the people around, who have requested that the fortress 
may stand, as a place of security to them, in case in indian 
invasion. I asked one of the officers, the reason of their 
destroying a Fort, so necessary to the safety of the fron- 
tiers ? He replied, " The Americans will not submit to the 
british Parliament, and they may now defend themselves." 

Last Week, Mr. Frisbie & Mr. Plummer & myself rode 
to Col? Croghern's to dine. Afternoon called on Major 
Ward. Mentioned to the Col? the affair of the war belt. 
He has, I find, the ill will of the people in this quarter, 
principally on account of his claims to great tracts of land, 
which others claim. 

Reports have arrived of several whites being murdered 
by the Indians, down the Ohio. 

25. Yesterday rode to the Long Run, 18 miles from 
Pittsburgh, and preached to-day in a small house, which 
the people have erected, for public worship. 

1 The fire was afterwards extinguished by the earth caving in. (Author's 

102 Diary of 

26. Returned to Eneas McKay Esq. at Pittsburgh, at 
whose house, I make my home, at this place. Esq. Mc- 
Kay is Commissary to the army. Is a friendly social and 
high spirited Scotchman. Is the friend of order and re- 
ligion, or the form of it. His wife is good natured & 
hospitable. It is one of the most orderly and respectable 
families in the place. 

27. Sent word by Mr. Carnahan, of Jacob's Swamp, 
that I would preach there the next Sabbath. Received a 
letter from Mr. Cooper, Scribe of the Presbytery of Don- 
negall, informing, that they could send no supplies to the 
settlements west of the mountains, and that they had 
authorized us to preach there. Sent a message by Mr. 
Proctor to the people at Proctor's Tent, that I would 
preach there, the Sabbath after next ; and by Mr. Laughlin, 
that I would, with the permission of providence, preach 
at Ligonier, the Sabbath after that. 

28. 29. Wrote to friends in New England. 

Saw an Indian submit to the barbarous operation of 
having his hair pulled out of his head, excepting the 
scalp on the crown, and likewise his ears cut. An Indian 
dipped his fingers in ashes, and violently jerked out by 
the roots, one lock after another, until his head around the 
scalp was bald. He then laid his patient on his back, and 
placing a piece of wood under his ear, he cut, with his 
jack nife, which was rather dull, the rim of each ear, from 
top to bottom, leaving the ends adhering to the souce. 
On the bow made of the rim, he fixed pieces of thin lead, 
to prevent adhesion and to stretch it. He bore the 
operation with wonderful fortitute. Now and then he 
shouted Hocki, that is, I am a great man. This part of 
their head dress is said to be a preparation, necessary for 
a warrior. The cold and phlegmatic constitution of the 
Indians, perhaps, makes them less susceptable of bodily 
pain, than the europeans. 

Wrote to Mr. Brainard, Mr. Caldwell & to Dr. Wheelock, 

David McClure 103 

giving account of the present issue of the Mission. 
Forwarded to the care of our worthy friend, John Bayard 
Esq., of Philadf , a Box to be forwarded to Boston, 
to the care of my friend Henry Knox, 1 there ; containing 
some Mammoth's bones, some skins (Buffaloes, &c) seeds, 
human bones picked up on Braddock's field &c. 

Nov. 4. Wedtiesday. Preached in a Tent, near Mr. Car- 
nahan's, Jacob's Swamp. 

11. Last Sabbath preached at Proctor's Tent & to-day 
Wednesday at the house of Esq. Hanna, about 30 miles 
from Pittsburgh. Baptized at Proctor's Tent 2 children of 
Mr. McKee, and one of Mr. Joseph Erwine. Some rigid 
presbyterians, in this settlement, objected to me, because 
I did not belong to a presbytery, but was a N. England 
Congregational minister. To remove this objection in the 
minds of some zealous and worthy people of the presby- 
terian persuasion, I soon after, stated the objection in a 
letter to the presbytery of Donnegal, & requested to be 
admitted, myself & Mr. F., which they accordingly did.' 

Heard that my Interpreter Joseph Pepee, had gone on 
to Philadf, to request the Governor and the Quakers, to 
provide a ship for King Nettautwaleman, and some of his 
Chiefs, to go to England. Joseph mentioned on the 
road, that the Indians would have Mr. F. and myself re- 
turn next spring. That they were not yet ready ; but 
wished to consult other tribes. Good Joseph was deceived 
by the subtlety of his countrymen. 

12. Esq. Hanna accompanied me to Ligonier. Put 
up at the house of Mr. Jameson. 

16. Preached in the house of Mrs. Campbell, on the 
free invitation of sinners to salvation, from Rev. 22 . 17. 
And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come &c. Felt some 

1 Afterwards the distinguished general and secretary of war. His family 
belonged, like Dr. McClure's, to Mr. Moorhead's Presbyterian Church in 
Boston, and he was now keeping a bookstore there. 

2 On April 14, 1773. 

104 Diary of 

comfortable freedom, in proclaiming the free & gracious 
invitations of the Saviour of sinners. 

The settlements to which I have preached have invited 
me to tarry with them, which I have engaged to do, 
until May or June next. To encourage the business 
they have drawn up subscriptions, forming themselves 
into something like ecclesiastical order. I engaged to 
preach in five of the new settlements. It is about 6 years 
since the people began them. They are from almost all 
parts and generally presbyterians. It was pleasing to 
find in each of them, some zealous and pious persons, 
who came forward, & willingly devoted their time & 
labours to form the people into society, for the purpose 
of the public worship of God. Perhaps in this situation, 
I may have been honored as an humble instrument, in 
collecting the materials, and giving a form to social com- 
binations among the disconnected settlers, from whence 
Churches of Christ afterwards arose, & ministers & ordi- 
nances settled and maintained. 

In consequence of my engagements, I found the field 
of labour extensive, & on account of the unfavorable 
approaching winter, my work laborious & uncomfortable 
in prospect. 

17. Set out from Ligonier for Proctor's tent. Met 
Soldiers and waggons loaded with ammunition &c, going 
to Philad a Mr. Austin Piety, Conductor of the Artillery, 
had been kind enough to take the charge of my box. 
Rode to Pittsburgh. 

19. Waited on Major Edminston, who still remained 
in the dismantled Fort, expecting to leave it in a few 
days. His Lady presented me with a Wild Cat, which 
she had petted from a kitten. It was large and confined 
to a cage or box, by a chain. The Major appears dis- 
pleased with the manners of the people of this country. 
In conversation, on the parade, he told me, he had travilled 
through England, Ireland, France, Germany & Holland, 

David McClure 105 

but never knew what mankind were, till he came to that 

21. Lodged at Mr. Mires's on the road to Mr. Carna- 
han's. Sabbath preached to a numerous audience, on the 
nature and free offers of the gospel. 

Wednesday, preached at the house of John McClellen. 
The audience attentive & solemn. 

29. Preached at Mr. Proctor's from Amos 4.12. Pre- 
pair to meet thy God, O Israel. 

Dec. 3. At Mr. Jameson's Ligonier, read & studied 
the Bible in course. Such frequent itinerations, in these 
new and poor settlements, I find a great hindrence to 
study. I have, for some time, preached almost wholly 
without notes. Desire to be thankful for that freedom 
& enlargedness, with which I am sometimes favored, 
and to be humble for my barrenness. 

10. Thursday, preached at Mr. McQuestin's, near the 
head of Sewickly Creek. 

11. Rode with David White 7 miles to his house. 

12. Rode to the place of worship 3 miles, preached. 
Rode to Sam 1 . Newell's 2 miles. 

15. Rode to a settlement of Virginians, near Yohiogeni. 
Preached on the last Judgment. Lodged at Mr. Steven- 
sons. In the evening arrived Capt. St. Clair, Sheriff 
Proctor, Esq. Laughree, & Mr. McLane, Surveyor. They 
are out to run the line of the Province. 

17. Attended a marriage, where the guests were all 
Virginians. It was a scene of wild and confused merri- 
ment. The log house which was large, was filled. They 
were dancing to the music of a fiddle. They took little 
or no notice of me, on my entrance. After setting a 
while at the fire, I arose and desired the music and danc- 
ing to cease, & requested the Bride and Bridegroom to 
come forward. They came snickering and very merry. I 
desired the company who still appeared to be mirthful & 
noisy, to attend with becoming seriousness, the solemnity. 

106 Diary of 

As soon as the ceremony was over, the music struck up, 
and the dancing was renewed. While I sat wondering 
at their wild merriment. The Lady of a Mr. Stevenson, 
sent her husband to me, with her compliments request- 
ing me to dance a minuit with her. My declining the 
honor, on the principle that I was unacquainted with it, 
was scarcely accepted. He still politely urged, until I 
totally refused. After supper I rode about 3 miles to 
the house of a friend. The manners of the people of 
Virginia, who have removed into these parts, are different 
from those of the presbyterians and germans. They are 
much addicted to drinking parties, gambling, horse race 
& fighting. They are hospitable & prodigal. Several of 
them, have run through their property in the old settle- 
ments, & have sought an asylum in this wilderness. 

Dec. 18. Saturday rode 12 miles, to Joseph Erwine's, 
on the Pennsylvania road 

ic/ h Preached in the open air, by the side of a fallen 
tree, to a considerable numerous congregation, on evan- 
gelical humility, & was favored with a comfortable degree 
of freedom, rode a few miles to the house of a Mr. 
Thompson, an honest and pious Scotchman, who had 
been prejudiced against me, on account of my not being, 
as he supposed, a true presbyterian. Of the denomination 
of Congregationalists, the people here, seem to have no 
knowledge. In their esteem, all sects of Christians are 
erroneous who do not bear the name of presbyterian. 

Monday. Set out with Mr. Erwine for Pittsburgh. Stop- 
ped to take a view of the hill where Col. Boquet had an 
engagement with the Indians in 1764. By the strategem 
of sending a party round the hill, to fall upon the rear 
of the Savages, he was extricated from danger, & marched 
on to the relief of the people, who were beseiged in Fort 

Found Mr. F. well, & spent two days with him at Pitts- 
burgh. Rode to Ligonier, & preached on the Sabbath. 

David McClure 107 

29. Rode in company with Mr. Wm. McCune 13 miles 
to Squirril Hill 

30. Wednesday preached to the small new settlement 
there. It lies on the River Connemoh, 1 which is formed 
by the junction of Stoney Creek & Quamahone, and emp- 
ties into the Allegany River. There are about 12 fami- 
lies here. Experienced much kindness, particularly from 
Mrs. McCune & family. 

This place was formerly a settlement of Indians. Here 
are vestiges of their corn fields, & on the bank an ancient 
fortification, similar to many that are found through all 
this country. 

Wednesday, preached the first sermon ever preached in 
this place, on the rich provision of Gospel salvation. 

Jany 1. Rode to Mr. David White's. Found the 
people convened expecting a sermon, preached from 
Psalm 106 . 1. 

3. Sunday. Preached at Mr. Nickels's in Jacob Swamp, 
to an attentive audience. Afterwards found that some 
were deeply impressed with the important truths of the 
gospel. In his own time & manner God is pleased to 
make his word powerful to the consciences of sinners. 

The weather is uncommonly mild & pleasant for mid- 

Tuesday rode to Mr. White's. Appointed to preach 
to-morrow at Stewart's crossings. 

Wednesday, rode 7 miles to Mr. Stevenson's & preached. 
The hearers mostly Virginians. Preached in the open air. 
Several present, appeared almost intoxicated. Christmas 
& New Year holly days, are seasons of wild mirth & 
disorder here. 

Rode to Mr. Vance's — to Hugh Bay's — to Sam'l New- 
els — to Joseph Erwine's. 

1 Now written Conemaugh. 

108 Diary of 

Sabbath — preached. Spent the evening in religious 
conversation with some persons who came to the house. 

Monday, rode to Mr. Moorhead's — Wednesday with Mr. 
Ross, rode to Ligonier. 

Jan. 17. Preached at Ligonier. Visited the settlement. 

24. Preached at Stewart's Crossings. After meeting 
rode home with Captain Crawford. 1 (N. B. He was killed 
by the Indians in the revolutionary war.) The Cap- 
tain was very hospitable. He is from Virginia. Sacra, 
non multum in domo ejus, observantur. Uxorem virtuo- 
samhabet, sed, vae, ille hoc tempore, infornicatione vivet ; 
& mulierem scandelosam, ut aiunt, non longe a domo ejus, 

31. Preached at Laury Irwine's — the week past Mr. F. 
came to see me. 

Saw a large Indian fortification at Stewart's Crossings. 
Saw an Indian, Joseph Wapee, who informed me, that 
the forts in the Ohio country were places of retreat and 
defence, made by the ancient inhabitants, against the 
Catawbas. This probably he received by tradition from 
his ancestors. Visited the settlement until 

Feby. 4. Reached Mr. Jameson's in Ligonier, unwell. 

5. Sabbath. People convened, but I was not well 
enough to preach. Constant riding from one settlement 
to another and preaching, Badness of the weather & roads, 
& very poor accommodations, have affected my health, 
& brought on a slight fever. — After a few days' confine- 
ment, was better ; & Mr. F. and I agreed to exchange. I 
accordingly went to Pittsburgh, and put up at my friend, 
Esq. McKay's. My service here is not, so laborious, as it 
is confined only to two places, this, & the Long Run ; 
whereas my rides comprehended five different settlements, 
in 3 of which I preached on Sabbaths, and the other two 
on week days. 

1 Col. William Crawford, who lived near the present New Haven, in 
Fayette County, on the left bank of the Yohogany. 

David McClure 109 

Drinking, debauchery & all kinds of vice reign, in this 
frontier of depravity. In Pittsburgh, however, are to be 
found a few fearers of God & friends of religion, but alas, 
too applicable to some moral characters, are the words of 
the poet, They 

" Hear with sickly smiles, the venal mouth, 
" With foulest licence, mock religion's name." 

Feb. 21. Sabbath, extreme cold, preached at Mr. 
Cavet's, Long Run. May the divine goodness apply the 
word, with power to the Consciences of the hearers ! 

Preached at Pittsburg, on the final state of the right- 
eous & the wicked. 

Saturday March 6. Set out for the Long Run, & 
lodged at Charles McGennis's, 9 miles. He was a soldier 
in the Highland Regiment, commanded by Major Grant, 
which was defeated near Fort Pitt, in the french war and 
was wounded. A ball passed through his body at the pit 
of the stomach. 

7. Rode to Mr. Marshals. Received a letter from the 
Rev. Mr. Hog 1 of Ceder Creek, in Virginia. 

9. Rode to the mouth of the Yohio Geni River, 
lodged at a Mr. St. Clair's — married 2 couple at different 
settlements. Found my friend Esq. McKay, at old Mr # 
McKee's, at whose house we lodged. Returned with him 
to Pittsburgh. 

16. Esq. McKay, Dr. Conally, Mr. Semple, Mr. Bows- 
man & Monsieur Murrain, rode with me to attend the 
marriage of two couple, up the Monongehala. They were 
soldiers, who for want of some one to marry them, had 
lived with their women, several years, & now were desir- 
ous to wipe away reproach by lawful marriage. They 
made a decent appearance. 

Saw a Mr. Douglas, a trader, from the Shawanese coun- 
try, who informs that Mr. Jones, a baptist preacher 
1 Probably John Hogg, or Hoge, B.A., Princeton, 1749. 

no Diary of 

before mentioned, had been among them, and attempted to 
preach to them, but the Indians were enraged, and would 
have killed him, had he not been protected by a Moses 
Henry, a trader, who secreted him, until he found means 
to escape. Jones's object was the settlement, it is said, 
of a township, by people from New Jersey, opposite the 
mouth of the Sciota. 

March 19. Find my health much better. Mr. F. 
having arrived, I set out today to preach the next Sabbath 
at Ligonier. Reached Robert Hanna's Esq. — and the 
next day, Ligonier. 

21. Sabbath, preached. — & Wednesday at Squirril Hill. 

25. Having appointed to preach at Jacob's Swamps, 33 
miles from Squirril Hill, on the next Sabbath, set out 
with Mr. McCurdy, rode in a storm of wind rain & snow, 
to his house 5 miles. Lodged comfortably. 

26. Passed through Ligonier & reached Hugh Bay's. 

27. Preached on the glories of the Redeemer in his 
exaltation, as the Judge of the world at the last day. 

31. Preached at Stewert's Crossings. 
April 1. Thursday rode to John McClellen's & 

2. Rode to Joseph Erwine's & lodged. 

3. Sabbath. Preached at Laury Erwine's — rode home 
with Mr. Greer. 

Mr. F. & I had concluded on a journey over the Appala- 
chian mountains to attend the Presbytery of Donnegal, 
at the Middle Springs. 

Monday 5. We reached Ligonier. 

Tuesday. The people having been notified, Mr. Frisbie 
preached there. Received a present of a location of land 
on Connemoh (about 300 acres) of my good friend Mr. 
McCune. (This right was however lost to me by the 
war, & my absence.) Young & in health we had no un- 
pleasant apprehensions of again measuring back our road 
over the great & formidable mountains. On leaving 

David McClure in 

Ligonier we began to ascend them. In descending the 
eastern side of the Laural Hill, we came suddenly on a 
gang of Wolves. They were near the path (leading down 
the Mountain). They were of different sizes and 7 in 
number. Two of the largest, were, each about the bigness 
of a large Mastiff. They came & stood by the path, a few 
rods before us, and we had a fair view of them longer 
than we wished, for they seemed fearless of danger, & we 
had neither pistol, nor any weapon of defence. They 
espied a handsome Spannel dog which followed us, & 
who, through an instinctive fear, had endeavoured to 
secrete himself behind a fallen tree. They boldly stood, 
& filled the path before us, & we found no way to get by 
them. We began to entertain some apprehension of an 
attack upon our horses. The sun shone bright on their 
winking eyes, which was to us a favorable circumstance, as 
they do not see well in a clear day. As those ferocious 
animals are unused to a human voice, I proposed to Mr. 
F. that we should hallow, & make the most frightful 
noises we could. This had the desired effect. We, at 
the same time, riding slowly forward, they gradually 
withdrew from the path, the largest bringing up the rear. 
It is said that when pinched with hunger, they will some- 
times attack the horse & rider. Their bodies tapered off, 
from a deep chest to the hinder parts. Their eyes were 
small, & their ears short & erect. Their noses sharp. 
They had long bushy tails, and the hair of their bodies a 
light gray. They appeared strong and firmly built. 
These animals will scent and tire down the deer, in dark 
& cloudy days. They are destructive to the sheep & 
swine, in the new settlements. 

We reached Stoney Creek, and lodged at a Dutch 
Doctor's, who treated us with great hospitality. 

7. Crossed the Allegany mountain. Saw a herd of 
Deer, who more timid than the Wolves, ran from us & 
with surprising agility bounded over the side hill. 

ii2 Diary of 

8. April. Thursday, preached in Bedford, a settlement 
of about 20 families. After sermon rode to Thomas 
Eurie's, 6 miles. He is a religious and worthy man, 
surrounded with an amiable family. 

The inhabitants west of the Appalachian mountains 
are chiefly Scotch Irish presbyterians. They are either 
natives of the North of Ireland, or the descendents of 
such & removed here from the middle Colonies. There 
are some Germans, English & Scotch. The presbyterians 
are generally well indoctrinated in the principles of the 
christian religion. The young people are taught by their 
parents & school masters, the Larger and Shorter Cate- 
chisms, & almost every family has the Westminster 
Confession of Faith, which they carefully study. Mr. 
Eurie, lives in a small neighbourhood of german quakers, 
with whom he can have little or no religious society, as 
the most of them are very ignorant & bigoted. 

The following anecdote of him was mentioned to me. 
Attending family devotion, as his custom was, he read a 
chapter in the bible, & briefly expounded it to his family, 
one morning, reading Genesis 23.7 of Abraham's rising 
up & bowing himself to the children of Heth, on their 
consenting to his having a burying ground for his beloved 
Wife Sarah : " here" said Mr. Eurie, " we may observe, 
that Abraham was no Quaker." 

Friday. Crossed Sideling Hill, Junietta River, & Tus- 
carora mountain, & reached Path Valley, (Elliot's) late in 
the evening. We passed a few log huts to-day. When 
in the valley in the evening, we had a sublime and awful 
prospect of the mountains on each side of the valley, 
on fire. Either by accident or design, fire was communi- 
cated to the dry leaves & combustable matter that covered 
the sides of the mountains & the valley, and running up 
the sides of the lofty mountains to their summits, to an 
elevation of about 40 degrees, it had the appearence of 
the heavens in flames. The fire ran through the valley 

David McClure n 

to the north of us, & in some places came within a few- 
rods of the path. As we rode along the margin of the 
fiery element, & saw ourselves as it were hemmed in be- 
tween the flaming mountains, the scene impressed our 
minds with the majesty of God who formed the lofty 
mountains & rules the elements. We repeated together 
that beautiful Ode, 

" Fond Atheist ! could a giddy dance, 
Of atoms lawless hurl'd," &c. 

Saturday, passed through Sissney's gap in the North or 
Blue mountain, halted a while at the Rev. Rob. Cooper's 
Shippensburgh, & reached my Uncle McClintock's at the 
Big Spring, in the evening. Notice was sent through the 
place of preaching on the morrow. 

Sabb. Mr. F. & I preached to a large Congregation. 

Tuesday, rode to Shippensburgh, to attend the Donne- 
gall Presbytery. Three Candidates offered for examina- 
tion, & licence to preach, viz. Black, McFerrin & Cunning- 
ham. Each of them delivered a discourse, the subject of 
which had been given them, at the last presbytery. My 
Uncle, Mr. F. & myself lodged at Mr Blyth's. The Pres- 
bytery invited Mr. F. & myself to sit with them, as corre- 
spondent members. 

Wednesday, — The Presbytery having examined our 
Credentials & recommendations & commission from the 
Hon. Board of Correspondents in New Jersey, admitted 
us members in full. 1 — Previous to our admission, they 
held a conversation with us on the principal doctrines of 
divine revelation. Thursday & Friday attended Presby- 
tery. The Evening a Mr. Thompson preached ; on the 
3 fold offices of J. X. He preached without notes, a seri- 
ous practical sermon. 

1 This action was reversed by the Synod of New York and Philadelphia 
in May next, because the candidates had not been dismissed from the body 
which ordained them ; they were allowed, however, to be taken under the 
care of the Presbytery temporarily. 

ii4 Diary of 

At the settlement called at Jacob's Creek, near the 
Youghiogeni river, I had formed the model of a church, 
& a Session. An unhappy dispute arose between two 
persons there, in consequence of one of them applying to 
me for baptism for his Child. The parties agreed to 
refer it to the decision of Presbytery, and I accordingly 
laid it before them. They had not time, nor sufficient 
evidences present to act upon it, & referred to the next 
Presbytery, if the parties chose to bring it forward. 

They appointed me to preach at Carlisle the next Sabb. 
The Presbytery of Donnegall consists of about 17 minis- 
ters, each church sends a Delegate, who has an equal 
voice with the minister in all votes &c. They are me- 
thodical in business, & strict in adherence to rule and 

The following are the rules of proceedure. 

1. They chuse a Moderator & Scribe, & the election is 
determined by a majority of votes. The Moderator 
opens the Presbytery with prayer. 

2. The Roll is called over, and the absent members 
required to give reasons for non-attendence, at the next 

3. The Minutes of the last Session, & business referred 
to the present Session, examined. 

4. The members address the Moderator, & none al- 
lowed to dispute or converse, except by the medium of 
the Moderator. 

5. None allowed to go out of the room without the 
permission of the Moderator. 

6. Members appointed to supply vacant places till the 
next Session, & returns of their supplying since the last 
meeting, according to appointment. 

7. Committee of Congregational Affairs appointed, to 
whom each member reports how their account with their 
respective congregations stands, relative to Salary. If a 
congregation is deficient in payment, the Presbytery write 

David McClure 115 

to the Session of such Congregation, & admonish them. 
(N. B. The ministers are supported by subscription.) 

8. Each minister makes report how he has visited and 
catachized the people of his charge. 

9. They are critical in the examination of Candidates. 
They give the Candidate a text to write on, & deliver at 
the next session ; likewise a chapter in the bible to ex- 
pound, & also a theme in latin to write upon. They ex- 
amine into their experimental knowledge in religion, & 
their motives, — into systematical divinity, & the Arts & 

10. They begin and close business each day with prayer. 

11. They receive supplications for supplies from va- 
cant places. 

12. They meet twice in the year. 

13. Matters not determined by the presbytery, or where 
parties are not agreed in its decision are referred to the 

Saturday rode to Carlisle. Put up at Col. Armstrong's. 
Preached in the morning to the Congregation of Mr. 
Duffield, who has lately removed to Philadelphia. In the 
afternoon Rev. Mr. Roan preached. He baptized a child. 
Qualifications for this ordinance, required of the parents 
are a good moral character, knowledge of the plain and 
fundamental truths of revelation, & the belief of them. 
The minister addresses a short dissertation on the nature 
& design of the ordinance, & binds the parents to instruct 
the child in the knowledge of the Christian religion, — 
to learn it to read the bible, and teach it the West- 
minister Confession of Faith & the shorter & larger Cata- 
chisms, to set before it an example of piety, & to worship 
God evening and morning in their family. This profes- 
sion is required & these duties enjoined at the baptism 
of every child. 

Col. Armstrong, 1 is a gentleman of much intelligence 

1 See above, page 36. 

n6 Diary of 

and piety. He has been conversant in public business, 
and is a most useful man in maintaining civil and religious 
order in the town. 

In the train of misfortunes which attended the English 
arms after the loss of Braddock and his army, the Col. 
succeeded in the destruction of an Indian town, called the 
Kataneen, on the river Allegany ; and from that time a 
series of success attended the english, and the Colonists, 
against their old enemies the French & Indians. 

Col. Armstrong marched with 300 chosen men over the 
mountains, and came upon the town at the dawn of day ; 
and the first notice the Indians had of an enemy, was from 
the barking of a dog. A famous Indian captain, called 
Capt. Jacob, commanded them. They fought, after re- 
covering from their first panic, like lions. They retreated 
into a kind of log redoubt, which they had made very 
strong, from whence they gauled the Colonel's little band, 
and which they refused to surrender or to leave, (though 
the Col. offered them their lives) until the flames forced 
them to quit it. Their captain received fourteen balls, 
and yet fought like a tyger after he had fallen. The 
greater part of the warriors were killed. The women & 
children mostly fled into the woods, in the beginning of 
the action. 

This bold adventure of the americans into the heart of 
their savage settlements, was a dreadful blow to their 
courage, from which they did not recover. As, after this, 
they were in continual fear, where, before, they had felt 
themselves perfectly secure. 

Col. Armstrong received a slight wound in the heat of 
battle, by a ball grazing his shoulder, and adressing 
his men, who loved and reverenced him, said, "Boys I am 
wounded, avenge my blood" and immediately they set the 
town in flames, and the enemy were driven as before a 
tempest. A nephew of Capt. Jacob's, who was also one 
of the greatest warriors of the Delaware nation, said, he 

David McClure 117 

wished to see Colonel Armstrong, because he was a greater 
warrior than his Uncle. 

When marching to this secret expedition, the Col. like a 
Christian soldier, attended prayer, night and morning, at 
the head of his little band, and God was pleased to answer 
his request, by giving him compleat success, & making 
him an instrument in turning the tide of prosperity to our 

The Colonel diverted himself, while I was at his house, 
with the simplicity and plainness of the manners of the 
people of Connecticut, by relating the following anecdote. 

He was commissioned by Governor Penn, who lived in 
state in Philadelphia, on public business to Governor Law, 1 
of Connecticut. He put up at the public house in Mil- 
ford, and dressed himself in his best attire to wait on the 
Governor. He knocked at the door, and was let in by a 
man in the plain dress and appearence of a common 
farmer. He concluded he was a labourer or a servant of 
the Governor, and asked him if Gov. Law was at home. 
He was a little surprised to find that he had made a 
mistake, and that it was the Governor whom he was ad- 
dressing. He was received with great hospitality by him, 
and informing him that he had a commission from Gov. 
Penn, on public business, requested to know when it 
would be convenient to him, that he should have the 
honor to lay it before him. The Govr. replied, that the 
present time was convenient. His daughter came in, and 
he spake to her to draw a cup of cider, which he drank 
with the Governor. He was invited and urged to stay 
and dine. A large boiled dish was placed on the table, 
around which the family and labourers were seated, and 
each one helped himself. A lad came into the room and 

1 Jonathan Law (B. A., Harvard 1695), Governor 1741-50. The contem- 
porary governors of Pennsylvania were George Thomas (1737-46), and 
James Hamilton (1749-54). No member of the Penn family was resident 
in Pennsylvania between August, 1741, and 1750. 

n8 Diary of 

told the Governor that his father wanted to borrow his 
spade. He directed his son to go and get it. In transact- 
ing business with the Governor, the Colonel observed, 
that he was a man of profound knowledge and wisdom, 
and was agreeably surprised to find so much good sense, 
ease & propriety, with such plain & simple manners. 

Monday, returned to my Uncle's at the Big Spring. 
Baptized some children. 

Return from the Presbytery at Shippenburgh to the 
settlements West of the Mountains. 

The time of our engagement to preach to the people 
over the mountains, not having expired, May 20, Tuesday, 
Mr. Frisbie and I set out from the Big Spring. Intend- 
ing to shun McAllister's gap through the North Mountain, 
which we had found to be bad, we shaped our course for 
Sisney's gap, which we were informed was better. We 
got into the path valley, & arrived at Eliot's in the even- 
ing. Some places in the mountain were so steep, that I 
took hold on the tail of my horse, & made him haul me up, 
though exposed to the pelting of stones from his feet. 
The descent was so steep that I was apprehensive that he 
would fall upon me, as I led him down. We crossed the 
mountains in pleasant weather ; our accommodations 
were very ordinary. We refreshed ourselves with neat's 
tongue, biscuit & spirit, which our friends at the Big 
Spring had furnished us with, at several fine springs, 
which we found on the Mountains. We had also plenty 
of dried venison which we bought of the hunters. In our 
return we took Fort Littleton — Bedford — Anderson — the 
Dutch Doctor's on Stoney Creek, in our way. 

Saturday 24. Reached Ligonier. 

In this journey we overtook several families removing 
from the old settlements in the State, and from Maryland 
and New Jersey, to the western country. Their patience 
and perseverence in poverty and fatigue were wonderful. 
They were not only patient, but cheerful and pleased 

David McClure 119 

themselves with the expectation of seeing happy days, 
beyond the mountains. 

I noticed, particularly, one family of about 12 in number. 
The man carried an ax and gun on his shoulders — the 
Wife, the rim of a spinning wheel in one hand, and a loaf 
of bread in the other. Several little boys and girls, each 
with a bundle, according to their size. Two poor horses, 
each heavily loaded with some poor necessaries, on the 
top of the baggage of one, was an infant rocked to sleep 
in a kind of wicker cage, lashed securely to the horse. A 
Cow formed one of the company, and she was destined to 
bear her proportion of service, a bed cord was wound 
around her horns, and a bag of meal on her back. The 
above is a specimen of the greater part of the poor and en- 
terprising people, who leave their old habitations and 
connections, and go in quest of lands for themselves and 
children, & with the hope of the enjoyment of independ- 
ence, in their worldly circumstances, where land is good 
& cheap. 

And in the course of 6 years, many families, west of 
the Mountains, now begin to realize their hopes. Before 
that time, the country was a desolate wilderness ; but now 
there are many well cultivated farms in the pleasant val- 
lies which run among the Mountains, & to the Westward, 
on to Pittsburgh, about 50 miles. 

April 25. I preached in the forenoon at the house of 
Mrs. Cambel, to the people at Ligonier, & Mr. Frisbie 
preached in the afternoon. Dined with Capt. Arthur St. 
Clair (afterwards General in the American army.) He 
owns a good farm and Grist mill, at Ligonier, & large tracts 
of wild lands. He was hospitable and disposed to en- 
courage our mission. He appears to love his ease, & good 
cheer, & is, at times, afflicted with the gout. 

April 26. Monday Mr. Frisbie set out for Pittsburgh. 
I tarried several days at Mr. Jameson's in Ligonier. Read 
the bible, and made some sermons. 

120 Diary of 

May 21. Rode to James McQuestin's, with Mr. Moor- 
head, & preached to the people of Sewickly Creek, who 
had convened in the woods. The number was considera- 
ble. They sat on the side of a hill, on the grass, under 
the shade of trees. The assembly was solemn and atten- 
tive ; & I felt a freedom in speaking on the most important 
concerns of eternity. The psalmody, in which all united, 
had a solemn and pleasing effect echoing along the hills, & 
sounding the high praises of the Creator, where little else 
had ever before been heard, than the yells of Savages & 
the roarings of wild beasts. After sermon, rode 7 miles 
to Hugh Bays. 

Yesterday, descends the Chestnut ridge, which is a long 
range of hills West of Ligonier, I caught a young Cub. 
The adventure was perhaps imprudent, & not without 
hazard, as I was alone and unarmed. After riding about, 
to make a discovery of the dam, who, I concluded could 
not be far off, I pursued the little black animal, into a 
thicket of young trees. He run up one of them, and 
finds no way to get him down, I climbed the saplin, but 
not before looking about for the She Bear. He ascended 
the highest part of the tree ; the weight of both, brought 
it down within a few feet of the ground. He fell, & I 
slipt down, & seizing my whip, pursued him up the bank 
of a river, that run through the valley. After repeated 
blows, with the but of the whip, he was stunned and fell. 
With haste, and some degree of fear of the dam, I draged 
him to my horse, & here I was fearful I should loose him, 
as the horse appeared very reluctant to receive him on his 
back. With much difficulty, having lodged him on a 
low limb of a tree, I got the horse so nigh as to haul him 
on, & place him before me. He fastened the nails of his 
fore paws in the horse's mane, & with one hand I held him 
up, & with the other guided my horse. I forded the river 
with my little savage companion, & rode about half a mile 
to the first house, in which a Dutchman lived, who was 

David McClure 121 

standing at his door. Before I arrived, he had recovered 
from the effects of the blows, and was very cross and furi- 
ous, & made several attempts to bite. I called to the man 
to take him as a present, & letting him drop, the Dutch- 
man received him thankfully, & said he would make good 
pork of him. About 6 weeks after this adventure, passing 
that road, I called at his house. The Cub had grown to a 
young bear, & was confined in a little pen, built at the 
end of the house. The resolution to catch the cub, as I 
was unarmed, was no doubt, rash & thoughtless. On re- 
flection, I disapproved of it, & should not again have 
undertaken an adventure of the kind, in the same 
circumstances. To 

June I. Spent my time in preaching to the people in 
the settlements on the Pennsylvania road — Stewert's cros- 
sings — Procter's Tent — Ligonier — Jacob's Creek — & Squir- 
ril Hill. 

Yesterday, arrived at my friend Eneas McKay Esq., 
at Pittsburgh. Very pleasant weather. Today nth 
dined on green peas. There have here been eatable 10 
to 12 days. Esq. McKay and his lady are well disposed 
people and friendly, at least to the form of religion. He 
keeps 4 or 5 Negroes, some of them give him much 
trouble. One of them, who was a stout fellow, came into 
the house to evening and morning prayer, with a large 
iron chain fastened to his leg and wound round his body, 
and riveted to a collar around his Neck. His Master had 
whipped him, and fixed the chain on him on account of 
his stealing, and attempting to run away with a negro 
woman of the place. The poor wretch expressed to me 
his sorrow, and promised to do better. I interceeded for 
him, and went with him and his Master to the Blacksmith, 
who filed the iron collar asunder and took off the chain. 
In this family, I have lived agreeably several weeks, since 
my first coming ; for which they refused any compensation. 

Being about to return to New England, the two last 

122 Diary of 

weeks, I visited the settlements in which I had spent 
about 7 months, & preached to them for the last time. I 
found many more friends than I expected, & the parting 
scene was solemn and affecting. They invited me to 
return, & gave me the promise of a decent salary & lands. 
We found no prospect of putting into execution the 
principal object of our mission, to carry the Gospel among 
the heathen ; and now thought it our duty to return, to 
give account to our honorable employers. While we con- 
tinued at Pittsburgh, and the adjacent country, we found 
that indian affairs assumed a more hostile appearence, 
and that we could have no access to them, with any pros- 
pect of success, or even personal safety. 


May. 31. 1773. Rode to Pittsburgh to settle some ac- 
counts, & to join company with Mr. Frisbie, & take leave 
of friends. 

June 1. At Esq. Mackay's. Walked with Dr. John 
Connelly along the bank of the Allegany. In conversa- 
tion he asserted some deistical tenets: said, he did not 
believe the whole of the Bible — that religion was all a 
piece of policy — that Joshua was a grand villain — that 
men were from the creation, the same, as to moral powers 
& propensities, that they are at present — and many other 
great errors and falsities of a similar import. I endeavored 
to set before him the perfection & purity of the divine 
character, and the deep depravity of the human heart, & 
thence to infer the necessity of a moral change, called in 
scripture, being born again, a new heart, & the like, in 
order to the enjoyment of the love of a holy God, & a 
preperation for the holy employments of heaven &c. He 
replied, that no change would take place, until the soul 
should be disingaged from the body ; then he supposed 
it would be refined, & fitted for the spiritual world &c. I 

David McClure 123 

urged the necessity of faith in the word of God, & reli- 
ance on the righteousness and mediation of Jesus Christ. 
He replied that he wished to believe ; but could not. 
The doctor is a man of bright parts, and an amiable dis- 
position ; but has lived a dissipated life. I was informed 
by my christian friend (Mr. Plumer) that the Doctor was, 
at times, exercised with very serious awakenings. 1 A sov- 
ereign God is pleased to reveal unto babes that divine 
light & grace, which he hides from the wise & prudent 
men of the world. 

June. 4. Took leave of my friendly host, Mr. McKay 
& family, & set out from Pittsburgh, about sun rise, having 
appointed to preach in the afternoon at the house of 
Robert Hanna. Esq., 30 miles distant. Arrived about 2 
O'Clock. Found the people convened, preached & took 
my leave of them, wishing them the blessing of heaven. 
The people were much affected. 

Saturday 5. Rode to the Lawyalhanning, & crossed 
over to a Mr. Craig's, & baptized his Child, & from thence 
to Capt. Proctor's, & baptized 2 of his children, then rode 
to Mr. Moorhead's, and to Ligonier. 

Sabbath 6. Preached in an orchard in the forenoon, & 
afternoon in Capt. Arthur St. Clair's house. 

Monday. Mr. McCune of Squirril Hill, sent a horse 
for me to ride to that settlement, 13 miles, to preach 
there in the afternoon. Preached to them my last ser- 
mon. This settlement is the most easterly of those to 
whom I have preached, & is not far distant from the west- 
ern foot of the Appalachian mountains. 

Truly the people here, in this new country, are as sheep 
scattered upon the Mountains, without a Shepherd. At 
this time, not a single church has been formed, or Minister 
of the Gospel settled, west of the Appalachian Mountains, 
from Pennsylvania to Georgia, through an extent of many 

1 Dr. Connolly's father was a Roman Catholic, and his mother probably a 
Presbyterian. See Historical Register of Interior Pennsylvania, ii, 210-13. 

124 Diary of 

hundred miles, of new & sparse settlements. A great 
proportion of the people manifest a desire for the Gospel, 
and would gladly make provision, for the support of min- 
isters, according to their ability. We had the satisfaction, 
if I may so express it, of planting the seeds of some future 
churches, by forming several settlements into something 
like ecclesiastical order, during 7 or 8 months of our 
preaching among them. May the good Lord, raise up 
& send forth faithful labourers into this part of his 

8. June. Tuesday. Mr. Wm. McCune, Benjf Sutton & 
myself, sailed in a boat up the River Connemoh, in one 
place, saw a solid body of stone coal, jutting from the 
bank. Same day went to see an Indian Fort, near the 

9. Wednesday. Some friends accompanied me to Ligon- 
ier, where I found Mr. Frisbie. We lodged that night at 
Capt. St. Clair's. Saw there a dutch preacher from Hol- 
land, a Mr. Kails, who had visited, and preached to the 
people of his nation, in various places. I asked him how 
he was supported in his itenerations. He replied ; Qui 
Deo confisus, nunguam confusus. (He who confides in God, 
will never be confounded.) 

Friday morn.g, left Ligonier, & reached Stoney Creek. 
Saturday, descending a mountain, we started a Cata- 
mount, or a species of the Panther. I passed him 
without seeing him. They are about the bigness of a 
sheep. They are built like a Cat ; have a long bushy 
tail, & will leap a great distance from the ground up a tree. 

Saturday, Reached Esq. Wood's in Bedford. 

13. Sabbath. Mr. Frisbie & I preached in a small 
Court House. Baptized 6 children. 

Monday, reached our worthy friend's Thos. Eurie. 

To day, I came suddenly upon a large Rattlesnake. 
The first notice that I had of him, was the noise of his 
rattles, just by the side of my horse. I encountered him 

David McClure 125 

with a stick, but in the act of striking him it broke, & 
falling on him, provoked him, & he pursued me. I found 
another stick, & turning upon him, stopped his course. It 
was a favorable providence that he was so full and heavy 
that he could not run very fast. I ripped him open, and 
out fell a large grey squirril, which I conclude he had 
charmed, as he was swallowed headforemost. When I 
stopped my horse and heard the rattles of the snake, I 
wondered to see a snipe rise a little away from the ground, 
a few yards before me, & faintly flew away, & as though 
his strength was exhausted, dropped among the bushes. 
The vile serpent, I imagine was in the act of charming 
him, (as he no doubt had the squirril,) into his varacious 
jaws ; but luckily for the poor bird, my coming, broke the 
fascination. In my journey, from the relations of people, 
I have no doubt, (as well as from my own observation,) 
of the inexplicable power of snakes to charm small ani- 
mals. Perhaps the power of charming is in the dazzling 
brightness of their eyes. Capt. Gibson of Logstown, once 
informed me, that he saw a little bird in great agitation, 
hopping, & making a plaintive noise upon the edge of a 
rock on the Ohio ; he went up to him, and saw a large 
black snake at the foot of the rock looking stedfastly up 
to the bird. He killed the snake, & took the bird, faint 
and trembling in his hands ; after walking some rods the 
poor bird recruited and flew. 

From the snake which I killed, I took his rattles, which 
were 14. I examined his mouth, and saw two long, sharp 
& curved teeth, & pressing them into the jaw, observed 
the green poison issue from small holes near the points 
of the teeth. In this journey I also killed two more of 
this hateful species of serpents ; and also a large Adder, 
and ripping open the latter, with a penknife, to my sur- 
prise & amusement, a live toad fell out, & hopped off. 

From Bedford we took the road to Fort Littleton, on 
account of its being less mountainous, although several 

126 Diary of 

miles further. Called on the Rev. Mr. King, 1 and also 
on Rev. Mr. Craighead a at Rocky Springs, & reached 
Shippensburgh on the 

1 6. Wednesday. The Rev. Robert Cooper, minister of this 
place, is, a plain, sensible & worthy man. The ameliora- 
tion of the morals and religious character of the people, is 
said, to be greatly owing to his good example and labours. 
Mrs. Cooper is a worthy pious woman. Went to my 
Uncle McClintock's, 13 miles, to the Big Spring. Tarried 
there until June 19, 1773. This day compleats a year 
from our departure from our worthy patron Dr. Wheel- 
ock, & friends at Dartmouth College. Innumerable mer- 
cies, I have experienced, in the long, & fatiguing journies 
and services to which I have been called, in that period of 
time. May my grateful heart forever record the divine 
goodness in preservations in dangers, in health, in friends 
unexpectedly raised up, and in opportunities to do some 
little service in the promotion of the cause of Christ, 
among pagans & white people. 

The ministers of this Provence now State, are supported 
by subscription, and appear to live as well as their brethren 
in New England. Although their Salaries are small, they 
have opportunities to purchase lands, and have comfortable 

June 20. Sabb. Rode 4 miles from my Uncle's, & 
preached to the people of this settlement. The congre- 
gation consists of about 300 families. They have a large 
log house in which they meet for worship. When the 
weather is pleasant, they meet in a grove adjoining 
the house, where a stage or tent is raised, in which 
the preacher stands. 

June. 22. Mr. Duffield who was formerly the minister 
here, and at Carlisle, and lately removed to Philadelphia, 

1 John King (B.A., College of Philadelphia, 1766), pastor of the Presby- 
terian Church at Conocheague, now Mercersburg. 
1 John Craighead (B. A., Princeton, 1763). 

David McClure 127 

preached a Lecture. A pathetic, eloquent & evangelical 

26. People are now busily engaged in their harvest, 
which is principally wheat. Cherries are now ripe. 

27. Not able this day to preach, (being Sabbath) hav- 
ing been badly poisoned in the face, by some poisonous 
weeds. The people of this settlement are almost all of 
scotch irish descent. Immigrants from the North of Ire- 
land, or descendents of such. They are presbyterians, 
well instructed in the principles of religion, & a number 
of them very exemplary and pious. The line between 
religious & irreligious characters is more discrimenating 
here, as well as over the mountains, than it is in New 
England, where the forms of religion are established by 
law, and where the irreligious are not much respected or 
promoted to Office in society. 

July 4. Sabbath, rode to Meeting from my Uncle Mc- 
Clintock, & preached. 

Monday, rode with Elder Ralston to Carlisle 14 miles. 
Found Mr. Frisbie there, & also Mr. Duffield & his Lady, 
at Col. Armstrong's where we lodged. Mr. F. & I set out 
for Shippenburgh. Lodged at the worthy Mr. Cooper's. 
At this place we purchased of John & Wm. Barr two 
rights of located land, lying on the River Connemoh. 
Gave my cousin Daniel McClintock a power of Attorney, 
to take care of it &c. 

8. Returned to the Big Spring & 

\oth. Saturday, having appointed to preach on the mor- 
row in Sherman's valley, 12 miles, my aged Uncle accom- 
panied me ; we ascended, by a steep & winding path, the 
North mountain, & on the top had a refreshing breeze, 
the day being sultry, and a fine prospect of the valley, 
which is a narrow strip of good land, between 2 mount- 
ains. We descended and came to a Mr. Joseph McClin- 
tock's, brother in law to my Uncle. The old gentleman 
appeared like a venerable patriarch, with a numerous 

128 Diary of 

family of stout sons & daughters around him, and in the 
enjoyment of the serene comforts of rural life, in this 
pleasant & secluded vale. 

Sabb., rode to the place of worship and preached fore- 
noon & afternoon, to the people of the valley. An atten- 
tive little congregation, some were affected with the 
truths of God's word. It is rarely that they have oppor- 
tunity to hear the gospel. They are presbyterians, & 
attentive to the education of their children, in the princi- 
ples & duties of religion. Happy people, to whom the 
providence of God has given this pleasant fertile and 
retired abode. 

Almost all new settlements are purchased with great 
toil and sufferings, & many with blood. This little valley, 
in its first settlement was doomed to feel its share. The 
aged Mr. McClintock related to me the following remark- 
able adventures of dangers and escapes, which he & 
others here experienced. 

In the time of the french & Indian war, & soon after 
Braddock's defeat, the Indians emboldened by their suc- 
cess, spread over the mountains & vallies, killing, capti- 
vating, & plundering the scattered inhabitants of these 
fertile vales. Unwilling to quit his new habitation, and 
loose the fruits of his hard labours, he surrounded his 
house with a pallisade, & the few families that were in the 
valley, resorted there, on the first appearence of the 
savage enemy. 

Ignorant of the state of the little garrison, the Indians 
hovered on the sides of the hills, which overlooked it, for 
several days ; supposed with a view to discover the 
strength of the place, and to fall upon it, at some un- 
guarded moment. He had only 13 men, (his neighbours) 
with him ; and to impress the savages with an idea of 
their numbers & courage, he caused the women and girls 
to be dressed in men's clothes, to be paraded with the men, 
& with a drum which he had made, he made the valley 

David McClure 129 

resound with its martial music, & exercised the little 
company, every day, in sight of the enemy. By this 
strategem he kept them at bay, many days. But fearing 
that the enemy would by some means discover their de- 
fenceless condition, and expecting no mercy should they 
fall into their hands, they determined to endeavour to fly 
to the nearest english settlement. They took the advan- 
tage of a dark night, & with silence & haste, ascended the 
mountain, undiscovered by the Indians, who lay upon it ; 
& by the good providence of God, they arrived with their 
wives and their little ones, at Carlisle, in safety. The In- 
dians finding the place forsaken, plundered & burned it, 
as they had all the houses & places around. 

I returned to the Big Spring. This place is denomi- 
nated from a large fountain of pure water, which rises 
amidst a body of limestone, at the foot of a hill, and is 
probibly fed by some great Reservoir of Water, in the 
bowels of the North Mountain, from which it is not very 
distant. The spring appears to discharge about 50 or 60 
hogsheads of water in a minute. 

July 14. Bid my aged Uncle & kind friends, at this 
settlement, farewell. 


Passed through this place, in which are two presbyterian 
churches, & one small episcopal Society. The people 
principally scotch-irish. Arrived at Yorktown. 1 


This place is about the size of Carlisle. Here are 1 
Lutheran — 1 Calvinist & 1 Episcopal church. The in- 
habitants are Germans, & speak their own language. 
Crossed the Susquehanna, at Anderson ferry, & arrived at 
Lancaster. Lodged at Mr. Hall's, and spent a little time, 
with good Mr. Helmutz. Heard him preach, in the german 
language, to a large attentive & solemn congregation. 

1 Now York. 


130 Diary of 

Called on Rev. Mr. Woodhull at Lacocks, and the ven- 
erable Mr. Smith of Paqua. The services of the ministers 
in this country are laborious, as their parishes are exten- 
sive, & the vacancies in which they officiate in rotation, 

Lodged at Dr. Kennedy's, near the White horse. The 
Doctor is from Ireland : a gentleman of information and 
hospitality. He mentioned, that he carried on a cor- 
respondence with gentlemen in his native country ; & 
that some thousands of people were expected from 
thence this season, who were coming with an intention of 
settling in the back parts of this province. 

July 21. Reached Philadelphia, & put up at our former 
place, the aged and respectable Mr. Samuel Smith's. 
Spent a few days in this beautiful & opulent city. Went 
with Dr. Harris, an obliging and respectable physician, to 
the Hospital and the Bettering house, two large and noble 
edifices consecrated to the works of charity and Justice, & 
monuments of the public spirit & humanity of the people. 

Heard Mr. Edmonds & Mr. Tennant of Carolina, preach. 
After meeting went to hear the Methodist preacher. It 
was a Mr. Ashby ' from England, who was afterwards 
Bishop of the Methodist Church. He appeared to be a 
plain, dull & illiterate preacher. It was a farewell sermon. 
He had been preaching in the new Methodist house, I 
conclude, as a probationer. His text was, 2 Cor. 13.2. 
If I come again I will not spare. He shewed — Who the 
faithful minister of Christ will not spare — Why, he will 
not spare, and wherein he will not spare. In his con- 
cluding prayer, he had these singular expressions. " Lord, 
thou knowest what has passed between I and this people ; 
and now I am about to leave them ; Lord, send them 
another, that may be more kindly received & more suc- 
cessful than I have been." The singing was good. 

The Rev. Mr. Duffield being about to attend an ordina- 
1 Francis Asbury, born 1745, came to America 1771. 

David McClure 131 

tion in Cohanzy, New Jersey, invited us to accompany 
him. Accordingly, 

2%th July, we crossed the Delaware, about 5 miles 
below Philada, over to Glocester, and in the evening 
arrived at Cohanzy, having rode 48 miles. 

29. Wednesday, rode six miles to New England town, 
so called from its being originally settled by people from 
those parts. A Mr. Hollingshead was ordained by the 
Presbytery. He appeared to be an agreeable and promis- 
ing young man, and the people well united in him. 
(N. B. He removed, after some years to Charlestown, 
S. C.) A Mr. Ramsey was the last minister here, and 
before him was a Mr. Elmer of Windsor in Connecticut, 1 
The ordination day was a pleasing and solemn season. 
Two sermons were preached, by the aged Mr. Hunter 2 
and Mr. Duffield. We were urged to preach, but declined. 

We journeyed through the barren sands, & waste 
places of the eastern shore, where we found few inhabi- 
tants and poor accommodations, & arrived at the hospi- 
table house of Esq. Clark in the bounds of the settlement 
called Little Eggharbour." We rode about 44 miles the 
last day, and several times missed our road, & came near 
miring in the marshy plains. At Mr. Clark's we had the 
pleasure of finding Mr. Brainard, and spending a day 
with him. We were with him, a few days, in riding and 
preaching to the poor & small settlements here. Their 
meeting houses are small and built of logs. We visited a 
large iron furnace in the neighbourhood. The country 
abounds with sand or bog oar. One of the drivers of a 
waggon beat his horses unmercifully, using high & profane 

1 Jonathan Elmer (B. A., Yale 1713), ordained 1728, died 1755 ; William 
Ramsay (B. A., Princeton 1754), ordained 1756, died 1771. The church is 
in the present township of Fairfield, Cumberland County, on Delaware 

2 Andrew Hunter, pastor at Greenwich, N. J., 1746-1775. 

3 In Burlington County, Southeastern New Jersey. 

132 Diary of 

language. Good Mr. Brainard reproved him, & the fellow 
looked guilty & self condemned. 

We accompanied Mr. Brainard to his Indian village, at 
Brotherton, and spent several days. Preached to his 
Indians, the greater part of whom understood english. 
They are part of the tribe of Delawares, who were con- 
verted to Christianity by his pious and labourious brother 
Mr. David Brainard ; and this gentleman is a worthy suc- 
cessor to him, and animated with the like ardent zeal and 
compassion to the perishing Indians. He mourns the 
little success of his labours among them, and notwith- 
standing all his labours, they decrease yearly. His church 
is much reduced, and he informed us that such was the 
unconquerable propensity of his Indians to ardent spirits, 
that there was not one of the Church but would get in- 
toxicated, when they could find opportunity. Of this we 
had an unhappy instance, while we were there. Return- 
ing from the iron works of a Col. Reed, in Mr. Brainard's 
waggon, we came through the border of the Indian vil- 
lage, where a number of them were repairing the road. 
One, named Isaac, a stout Indian, seeing Mr. Brainard, 
came up and presented a bottle of rum to him saying 
" Come, Mr. Brainard, drink." It appeared that the poor 
fellow had made too free use of it. Mr. Brainard, groaned 
over him, and said " poor Isaac, I am sorry to see you in 
this condition ; " and reminded him of his former prom- 
ises to abstain from strong drink. Isaac appeared to feel 
well and replied, " I tell you, Mr. Brainard, you all one 
Governor and you up in the sky there, and look down 
upon us poor Indians; but you are a good sort of man, 
and we have made a good road for you, and you may go 
along." Mr. Brainard groaned and we rode on. Isaac 
was at meeting the Sabbath following, and looked very 
sorrowful. At the close of public worship, he was called 
up, and Mr. Brainard addressed him in an affecting 
and solemn manner. Reminded him of the times, and 

David McClure 133 

places, in which he had been drunk, since his last confes- 
sion and promise of reformation &c. Isaac appeared very 
penitent, and with an appearance of great sincerity re- 
plied, " It is very true, sir, what you have said, and I am 
very sorry ; I hope, sir, you will forgive me ; and this 
church will forgive me ; and I hope God will forgive me. 
If I drink one dram, I think I must drink another, and so 
drink too much. But if you will forgive me this once 
more, I will try again, and try hard, not to drink too 
much." After further solemn admonition, Isaac was for- 
given and restored. This poor race of beings appear to 
relish and long for ardent spirits, to a degree inconceiv- 
able to the white people. Perhaps it may be owing to 
the coldness of their blood, chilled by exposures to cold, 
to storms, hunger and nakedness, in their fatiguing ram- 
bles through the woods, by which they feel the want of 
the warm and invigorating liquid. 

Mr. Brainard spends the summers with his Indians, & 
resides in the winter at Mount Holly. 

Atig. 12. Accompanied Mr. Brainard, & preached at 
the Mills, at the house of a Mr. Olivern, a hospitable & 
pious man. 

14. Sabbath, preached at an Indian Village, called Wee- 
pink, to a small audience of Indians & English. 

Rode with Mr. B. to Burlington, preached on the road, 
at the Black horse tavern, (Mr. Emerly). Lodged at Mr. 
Sterling's (Merch't). In the morning we walked around 
the town. Passed the ruins of the house of the late Gov- 
ernor Belcher. It was burned down, a few years ago. As 
we passed it, " there," said Mr. Brainard, " has the worthy 
Govn. offered up on his knees, many a devout prayer to 
heaven." He used at times to visit Mr. Brainard's In- 
dians, & spend the Sabbath, devoutly attending public 
worship, & taking his seat, without any parade among 
the poor Indians. He was a great & good man ; & 
said to be the most accomplished gentleman of his day. 

134 Diary of 

Religion was the crown of glory to all his honors and 

Here we found a popular universal preacher, John 
Murray, lately arrived from Ireland, had been preaching, 
as well as in other places hereabout. Some people ap- 
peared to be pleased with, & to vindicate the licencious 
doctrines of Universalism, as preached by him. Licencious, 
they may with propriety be called, since he wholly rejects 
the doctrine of future punishment of the wicked, and 
thereby annihilates the restraints of wickedness, as well as 
contradicts that principle, which is the common sense of 
mankind, universally, a dread of future punishment, for 
evil conduct. 

Returned to Brotherton, with Mr. Brainard, & again 
visited the poor settlements about Little Egg Harbour, & 
preached to them several times. 

Aug. 21. We set out from Brotherton, Mr. Brainard 
accompanied us to Mount Holly, from thence to Birding- 
ton & to Trenton, about 33 miles. Here we parted with 
that worthy man. The labours of his life of self denial, 
in preaching the gospel to the poor, will no doubt, receive 
a glorious recompence, in the heavenly world. 

Trenton is a pleasant Village, on the bank of the Dela- 
ware, & contains about 200 houses. Mr. Spencer, 1 the 
minister, has gone to attend the annual Convention of the 
Clergy in Connecticut, with whom the presbyterian 
Church keep up a connection. They are apprehensive 
that the Episcopal Church in this country are planning to 
introduce Diocesan Bishops, into the Colonies. The 
Episcopalians in Britain & America, have for a number of 
years been engaged, as appears by various pamphlets & 
publications, to bring it about. The New England Colo- 
nies, & the Presbyterians universally are opposed to the 
design, & reprobate it as a branch of the antichristian 
Church, and a violation of their civil & religious rights. 

1 Elihu Spencer ; see above, p. 26. 

David McClure 135 

The Churches of Connecticut, which are settled upon the 
Saybrook platform, bear a resemblence in several features 
to the presbyterians. 

At Princeton, went into the College, & passed a little 
time with the Tutors. They are Mr. Smith, of Paqua, 
Mr. Houston, of the Southward, and Mr. Devins, of 
Charlestown, Massachusetts. 1 Here are about ioo stu- 
dents. Excellent order and neatness are observed in and 
about the College. President Witherspoon, resides a 
part of the time on his farm about a mile from the Col- 
lege. The College being well supplied with excellent 
Tutors, there is less necessity, perhaps, of his paying such 
close attention to the affairs and duties of the College, as 
did his predecessors ; whose lives, it is thought, were 
shortened by their unwearied exertions to build up that 
flourishing and very useful institution. 

Last year, when we passed here, we waited on the 
President, who with his Lady, (a sensible and broad speak- 
ing woman,) were at his farm house. He was in the field, 
with a number of the students, some of them reaping, and 
gathering in the harvest. His name is great among the 
first scholars and divines of the age. He is very plain in 
his dress, & mode of living. 

At Woodbridge, we called on the Rev. Mr. Roe. 2 A 
sensible & hospitable man ; but somewhat censorious to- 
wards those of his brethren who differ from him in points. 
Here Mr. Frisbie tarried to spend the Sabbath. Pro- 
ceeded to Elizabethtown & Newark. Dined with the 
Rev. Mr. McWhorter, 3 one of the greatest divines & 
preachers, in this part of the country. 

1 Samuel Stanhope Smith, see above, p. 31 ; William C. Houston, 
B.A., 1768, Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy; Richard 
Devens, B.A., 1767. 

2 Azel Roe (B.A., Princeton, 1756), pastor at Woodbridge from 1763 to 

3 Alexander McWhorter (B. A., Princeton, 1757), pastor at Newark from 
1758 to 1807. 

136 Diary of 

Saturday evening, arrived at New York. Put up at 
Stout's tavern. Waited on Dr. Rogers, 1 who invited me 
to preach the next day ; but being fatigued with my jour- 
ney, & wishing to hear him, I declined. 

Sabbath. Heard the Doctor in the forenoon. He 
preached an excellent sermon, memoriter. He writes his 
sermons, & carries his Notes into the pulpit, but does not 
use them. The memory may be greatly strengthened by 
habit and exercise. Dined at Dr. Rogers, with a Scotch 
minister, who has lately arrived, with a company from the 
Isle of Sky, with the intention of making a settlement up 
the North River. His name, I think, is McClellan. Heard 
Mr. Treat preach in the afternoon, & in the evening, Mr. 
McClellan. He preached in the Erse language, to his 
companions, who appeared in the Scotch plaid dress, & 
attended with great decency. 

Mr. F. & myself spent Monday Evening at Dr. Rogers's 
where we found Dr. Witherspoon, & had the pleasure of 
considerable conversation with the grave and venerable 
president, who asked a number of questions concerning 
the western country, & the Indians. 

We concluded to take the tour of Long Island, and visit 
the Montauk Indians. 

Aug. 29. We crossed the ferry over East River, to the 
Island, and called at Mr. Miller's, the minister. Was in- 
formed that he was supposed to be in a consumption, and 
was gone a journey, with the hope that a change of air, and 
exercise, might remove the threatening complaint. 

Arrived at Nickel's, on Hempstead plains, where we 
lodged — called at Mr. Prime's, 4 in Huntington, lodged at 
Smithstown. Hempstead plains is a waste of barren sands, 
about 25 Miles. On some parts of it, we have a pleasant 
prospect of the sound & of the ocean. 

This journey and mission would have been gloomy in- 

1 John Rodgers, see above, p. 2S. 

2 Rev. Ebenezer Prime (B.A., Yale, 1718). 

David McClure 137 

deed, had I been without a companion. I was favored 
with a sensible, pleasant & pious one, in Mr. Frisbie. 
Though fatiguing & laborious, the time from our first set- 
ting out, has passed away agreeably. To keep in memory 
the knowledge we had of the Latin Language, we agreed, 
while on horse back, to converse in Latin, on the forenoons ; 
and have accordingly, made out to convey to each other our 
thoughts, in some tolerable degree, on the great variety 
of subjects, which were started in our long journey. Virgil 
or Horace, would however have been difficulted, no doubt, 
to understand us, so well as we understood each other. 

We arrived at Southold, crossed at Shelter Island, & 
arrived at the Rev. Mr. Buell's, 1 in East Hampton ; where 
we received a kind and cordial welcome from that zealous 
& laborious servant of Christ. 

Sept. 2. Saturday, rode 7 Miles, to Sagg harbour, & 
preached on the Sabbath to a small settlement there, in a 
new house, preparing for public worship. Dined at Mr. 
Foredom's, & in the evening returned to East Hampton. 

Mr. Buell is studying & writing on the prophecies. 
For the conveniency of turning to authors, he has in his 
study, a moveable round desk or table, of 7 or 8 sides, 
turning on a shaft, on which books are laid, which he 
wishes to consult. They come and go before him, at the 
movement of his fingers. 

Sept. 4. Monday, rode 16 Miles, through a pleasant 
country, and good soil, and arrived at the Indian Village 
at Montauk. It consists of about 100 souls. A number 
of the young men are now out, on fishing voyages. The 
cornfields are overgrown with weeds, owing to the con- 
stitutional indolence of the people. Their houses made a 
curious appearence. They were principally of a conical 
form, and made of flags and rushes, without windows, ex- 
cept an opening on the peek or top, to let out the smoak 
& admit light. 

1 Samuel Buel (B. A., Yale, 1741). 

138 Diary of 

We put up at the largest wigwam, in which lived an 
aged Indian, of the name of Fowler. Two of his sons 
were educated at Dr. Wheelock's school, but neither of 
them were at home. The Indians were very glad to see 
us, and treated us with great kindness. They came to- 
gether in the Afternoon, and Mr. Frisbie preached to 
them, and the next morning, they again met and I 
preached. They understood the english ; and all except 
the very aged, converse intelligably. They had to ap- 
pearence a love for the gospel. The aged ones, would, 
frequently, while we were preaching, break out in excla- 
mation, say.g Amen — or that 's true — that 's right. 

They have an Indian teacher, named Cyrus. He is a 
sensible, sober and religious man. He said, that the Rev. 
Mr. Davenport, 1 (who was a very zealous preacher, through 
the country in the times of the Great Revival of Religion, 
about the year 1741,) came, and preached Jesus Christ to 
them. He did not understand the Indian language, and 
not many of the Indians understood english ; but said 
Cyrus, "the Holy Ghost interpreted it to our hearts." 

Visited a sick indian woman, who was thought to be 
near to death. She appeared to rejoice in the hope of 
heaven. I asked her, what now gave her the most trouble ; 
she replied, with weeping, " because I don't love Jesus 
Christ enough." She desired me to pray with her. O the 
sovereignty of omnipotent grace ! that visits the obscure 
wigwam, and exalts the humble soul of the poor and di- 
spised indian, to glory, but passes by the palaces of pride ! 
Many of these poor indians appear to be serious and de- 
vout, and spend considerable part of their time in religious 
exercises. Mr. Buell, and other ministers, occasionally 
visit them. Their religious experiences are, chiefly, re- 
markable impulses and mental visions. Perhaps God is 
pleased to bring them to the knowledge of the Saviour, 

1 James Davenport (B.A., Yale, 1732), pastor in Southold, L. I., 1738- 
1743, died 1757. 

David McClure 139 

in a way and manner different from that which we ex- 
perience who have the advantages of knowledge, & the 
instituted means of light and grace. 

In Fowler's wigwam, we wrapped ourselves in our 
cloaks, the last night, and lay down on a mattress, or 
spreading of dry flags, and slept comfortably. Some 
young men went out early, on the water, and brought a 
fine bass, which we had for breakfast, with a tolerable dish 
of tea. The Indians expressed great thankfulness for our 

Returning to East Hampton, we found Mr. Buell had 
convened the people of the village, a few miles from town, 
to hear a sermon, & Mr. Frisbie preached. After sermon, 
he informed me, that he had notified the people, that a 
sermon would be preached at the meeting house, by can- 
dle lighting, & that I must preach. The following circum- 
stances may give an idea of the activity & cheerful zeal of 
the good man. In going to town, I had fallen a little 
back, to think of a subject, on which to preach, while he 
and Mr. F. were conversing and riding on. He halted & 
thus addressed me, " Come, Mr. McC, the people will wait 
for us : our horses are riding for us, & we for the Lord ; 
let us drive on." 

On our arrival, we found the meeting house filled, & 
lighted. After sermon, Mr. Buell delivered a solemn & 
affecting exhortation. 

We passed several days, very agreeably here, & con- 
cluded to travel on the sea coast road to Portsmouth, & 
from thence to return to Dartmouth College. 

Wednesday, rode to Sagg harbour, & getting on board 
a passage boat, we had a pleasant sail to the main, across 
the Sound, & landed at Groton. 

Thursday, called on the Rev. Mr. Eells, 1 of Stonington, 
& dined with the respectable and hospitable old gentle- 
man. He had a large family, at a plentiful table of good 
1 Nathaniel Eells, see above, p. 24. 

Ho Diary of 

and nourishing provisions. He asked how we liked the 
country around, & cheerfully cited the adage, " Where 
there is stoney riding, there 's good abiding." His table, I 
observed, confirmed it. 

Spent a few hours very pleasantly with the family, who 
appeared innocently gay & cheerful ; the daughters well 
educated, and engaging in their manners. The whole 
family appeared to be a pleasing sample of the happiness 
of rural and domestic life. 

The soil is better here for grazing, than grain, stoney & 
hard to till. We passed through Westerly, to South 
Kingston, & lodged at Hull's. 

Friday, dined at Narragansett ferry, & crossed over to 
Conanicut Island, & arrived at New Port. Visited the 
learned & amiable Dr. Styles. 1 

Sabbath, preached for him part of the day, & in the 
Evening at Mr. Hopkin's" meeting. This is a pleasant 
town, and the people very hospitable & attentive to 

Monday, rode on the Island, and crossed Howland's 
ferry, passed through Tiverton to Dartmouth, 20 miles, & 
lodged at Mr. West's 3 ; a very sensible man. 

Tuesday, kept the sea coast road, rode over extensive 
plains of poor soil, dined at a Quaker's, and arrived in the 
evening at the ancient town of Plymouth. Felt a vener- 
ation for this place, as the residence of the first christian 
fathers of N. Engl'd. We lodged at the house of the 
Rev. Mr. Robbins. 4 Mr. F. preached a Lecture in the 
Evening, to a respectable and attentive audience. 

Wednesday, walked up the hill, which lies on the back 

1 Ezra Stiles, see above, p. 24. 

1 Samuel Hopkins (B. A., Yale, 1741), the distinguished theologian, pastor 
in Newport from 1770 to 1803. 

3 Rev. Samuel West (B.A., Harvard, 1754) pastor of the Congregational 
church in the present town of Acushnet (then part of Dartmouth and sub- 
sequently of New Bedford), from 1761 to 1803. 

4 Chandler Robbins (B.A., Yale, 1756). 

David McClure 141 

of the town, to view the remains of the small fort, which 
the fathers built to defend them from the Indians, and 
paid our respects to the spot on which they first landed. 
The town is pleasantly situated, gradually rising from the 
water ; & commands a fine prospect of the harbour. The 
principal employment of the people is the fishery. They 
have 70 sail of schooners engaged in that business. 

Preached in the Evening, at the Meeting house. A de- 
gree of primeval simplicity of manners, & plainness of 
buildings, are here maintained. The people are friendly 
and hospitable. How wonderful the increase of people 
in New England, & throughout the continent, since the 
fathers first landed here in 1620. How wonderfully has 
heaven smiled upon the descendants of those pious an- 
cestors, who fled from oppression and persecution in their 
native Britain, to this then desolate wilderness, that here 
they might worship God, according to his holy word ! 
Here with the bible in their hands and hearts, they estab- 
lished the foundation of the Church of Christ, agreeably 
to the divine pattern ; and God has remarkably owned 
and blessed the Congregational Churches, founded by 
them. Sectarians of various names have risen up, from 
the beginning, and attacked it on all sides, yet have they 
not been able to mar its order, or stop its growth ! It 
continues, through the blessing of God, still to spread 
from the sea, to the Rivers, and myriads of the redeemed 
have sat under its shadow with delight. 

Thursday, left the house of the worthy & pious Mr. 
Robbins, and passed through several pleasant towns, & a 
good road, affording many pleasing prospects, & in the 
evening arrived at Boston. 

Put up at my brother William McC & tarried in Boston 
8 days. Rejoiced with friends in the goodness of God in 
his preserving & protecting providence. 

Sept. 24. Left Boston, & 25th arrived at my Uncle Mc 
Clintock's in Greenland. 

14 2 Diary of 

26. Sabb. preached there in the forenoon, & for Mr. 
Hastings at N. Hampton, 1 in the afternoon. 

28. Left Greenland to go to Dartm. College, with an 
intention, by the leave of providence, to return and spend 
the winter at my Uncle's in the study of Divinity & com- 
position of sermons. Arrived at Deerfield, 33 miles, put 
up at a new tavern, where, being unable to sleep, on ac- 
count of myriads of fleas, we retired, about midnight, to 
the barn, and slept unmolested in a bin of clean straw. It 
is an undoubted fact, that these animals are bred in the 
chips & decayed stumps of trees, especially around the 
habitations of men, where the ground is laid open to 
the prolific warmth of the sun. 

28 l1 ? Wednesday, passed through Suncook, Concord & 
Boscowen, having rode 28 miles. 

29th. Thursday, Through Cheshire and Grafton, a very 
rough country. 30th. Through Cardagan, 2 Canaan, & 
lodged at a log house in Lebanon. 

1773. Octbr.i. Arrived at Dartmouth College. Had 
the pleasure to find our worthy patron Dr. Wheelock, & all 
friends, well. 

. . . We have rode 120 miles from Greenland, & 
most of the way, had the company of several students, 
returning to College. 

It is almost 16 months since we took our departure from 
this young, rural & pleasant seat of science and religion : 
in which time I have travelled 4,268 Miles, as I find by the 
minutes of my journal. I have returned with the 3d 
horse. Through the mercies of God, myself & com- 
panion have been preserved through a long, fatiguing, & 
dangerous mission. May my life, which has been the 
object of the divine care, be henceforth consecrated, with- 

1 Rev. Joseph S. Hastings (B.A., Harvard, 1762), was pastor in North 
Hampton (the town next south of Greenland, on the sea coast), from Feb- 
ruary, 1767, to July, 1774. 

2 Now Orange. 

David McClure 143 

out reserve, to God, & to the service of the blessed 

Oct. 2* Sabbath. Preached part of the day in the 
College hall. Spent some time very agreeably among my 
former fellow students here. Considerable improvements 
have been made in clearing land around the green, & in 
buildings, since our departure from this place. 

The Small College, built last year, is not likely to prove 
durable, placed upon a spungy soil, the stacks of chimnies 
begin to settle, & to crowd the foundation into the 
earth. It was intended for a temparary affair, & run up 
in a hurry, 1 Dr. Wheelock is desirous of seeing a new and 
convenient College, for the accommodation of his students, 
before he leaves the world. He is daily consulting on 
this business. The Legislature of the State have granted 
him ^500. The sum is very small, for so expensive a work. 
It will be difficult to persuade the gentlemen in England 
& Scotland to a willingness to forward much of the 
money, (collected for the purpose of christianizing the 
Indians, and committed to their care) for the purpose of 
erecting a large & costly building. Dr. Wheelock thinks 
that something may be obtained by a subscription, and 
proposes that Mr. Silvanus Ripley and myself, should try 
what may be gotten, in that way, in New Hamphire, 
& Massachusetts and Connecticut. 2 

Oct. 26. Mr. Ripley & myself, having received a commis- 
sion from the Doctor, authorizing us to solicit donations 
for a College, set out on that business ; of the success of 
which, I had not very sanguine expectations, especially as 
the public mind is now agitated with political contentions, 
between the claims of the British government on the 

1 For a further account of this building (finished 1771, taken down 1791), 
see Chase's History of Dartmouth College, i, 222-23, 5§4- 

J Cf. Chase's History of Dartmouth College, 1, 277-78. For Professor 
Ripley, see above, p. 19. These efforts were not sufficiently productive, 
and the new building was not begun until 1786. 

144 Diary of 

Colonies, & the spirit of disaffection & resistance which 
reigns in the country. 

We passed through Charlestown, (No. 4') & from thence 
to Keen, in both which places we found a few gentlemen 
who subscribed a little money & land. We proceeded 
to Londonderry, where we arrived on Saturday. Found 
that the Landlady was a distant relation, & of the 
same name as myself. Treated with good old fashioned 
hospitality, by the worthy family, where we tarried over 
the Sabbath. 

Rode to meeting, & heard the Rev. Mr. McGregore, 4 
in the forenoon. He officiates in 2 meeting houses altern- 
ately. He is one of the best of preachers. He does not 
use notes. His personal appearence is commanding, & 
his manner solemn, earnest & pathetic ; his sentiments 
evangelical, expressed in plain & familiar language, yet 
sufficiently elegant for the pulpit, & the comprehension 
of the generality of an auditory. His text was the mes- 
sage sent to the Church in Philadelphia, Revel 3.7 & 8. 
He observed, among many pertinent & striking remarks, 
that Philadelphia signified brotherly love, — that actuated 
by a laudable & pious principle of benevolence, the 
famious Wm. Penn, had given this brotherly name to the 
flourishing city founded by him. He then exclaimed, 
" O that Londonderry was a Philadelphia ! " In this he had 
a meaning particularly applicable to the people there, as 
they had been unhappily contending about the place of 
the new meeting house. 

We retired, with the worthy man, to a school house, 
during a short intermission, & I preached in the after- 
noon. We went home with him, & passed the evening 
very agreeably in conversation. 

1 Charlestown, thirty miles below Hanover, on the Connecticut, was ori- 
ginally called Township Number 4. 

2 David McGregore, born 1710, pastor of the 2d Presbyterian Church in 
Londonderry from 1736 to 1777. 

David McClure 145 

The people of this town are the children of a worthy 
company, who came with their minister from the North 
of Ireland, & were after many trials, allowed to purchase 
this tract of land, which was then a frontier, & exposed to 
the depredations of Indians. It is now one of the most 
industrious, populous & well regulated towns in New 
Hampshire. Waited on Col? Thornton, & Col? Hol- 
land, principal men here. They did not incline to sub- 
scribe. They did not like the situation of the College, 
instead of being placed on the western border, the people 
in the middle & lower parts of the provence, would 
have chosen to have had it more central. But all impar- 
tial judges give the preference to the place where it is. 
There it will be much more extensively useful. 

Waited on Mr. Davidson, minister of a presbyterian 
Church in this town. 1 He is said to be on the arminian 
side of Divinity ; but Mr. McGregore & his congrega- 
tions, are firm calvinists. Mr. D. we found in his study. 
He is sensible, & social, and very slovenly in his dress 
& appearence. 

We left Londonderry, & proceeded to Hawk; 2 on our 
way we called on several gentlemen, particularly Mr. 
Webster of Cheshire, 3 but found none disposed to put 
their names to the Subscription. We put up at Mrs. 
Tole's, a kind, & motherly old Lady, but very inquisi- 
tive. 4 Called on some gentlemen in Kingston, (lodged at 

1 William Davidson, born in Ireland, 1714, pastor of the church in what 
is now Derry, from 1740 to 1791. 

* Hawke, the local name of that part of the town of Kingston which is 
now Danville 

3 The earlier name of the town of Chester. Col. John Webster was a 
leading citizen. 

4 I was told of a humorous anecdote of Governor Wentworth and the 
old Lady, at whose house he used to call in his journies to the Col- 
lege. Once upon his return, he was disposed for a little diversion, & en- 
tering the house addressed her, " How do you do, Mrs. Tole? lam glad to 
see you — I have been glad to see you, I shall be glad to see you, through all 
the numbers, cases, moods & tenses of all the nouns, pronouns, verbs, 

1 46 Diary of 

Mr. Calif's there,) & in Exeter, & came to Portsmouth. 
Put up at Mr. John Sherburne's. Made some attempts 
at subscription for the College there, but found no suc- 
cess. The objection, was that it was too far distant to 
benefit this part of the Province. 

Waited on Governor Wentworth, who is a warm friend 
of the College, & of Dr. Wheelock, & has greatly exerted 
himself to promote the settlement & prosperity of that 

Men are generally unwilling to part with their money, 
except, interest or honor prompt them. From these, how- 
ever, must be excepted the generous few, who give to 
works of charity, from the exalted principle of love to 
God & benevolence to men. 

Nov. 7. Sabbath, preached part of the day, for Mr. 
Rogers 1 in Exeter. 

Gov. Wentworth thought it advisable for us, to make 
an attempt to obtain assistance from the Assemblies of 
Massachusetts, & Connecticut ; & accordingly favored 
us with Letters to the Governors of those Colonies, by 
whose advice we might regulate ourselves. — We accord- 
ingly set out from Portsmouth, with an intention of waiting 
on Gov^ Hutchinson. At Newberry Port dined with Mr. 
Murray the Universal Preacher, at the Rev. Mr. Parsons. 3 
In the evening, went with Mr. Parsons to hear him 
preach. He had preached several times here, but had 

participles, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, & interjections." To this 
learned salutation, she replied, in her usual familiar language. " Dear, dear, 
Mr. Governor, every time you go up to that Darkmouth College, seems to 
me you grow leetler & leetler. Law, law, Mr. Governor, they say, Mr. 
Levius has gone to England to get your government from you." — This inter- 
view was highly diverting to the gentlemen of the Governor's retinue. 
N. B. The Governor is low in stature. (Author's note.) 

1 Daniel Rogers (B.A., Harvard, 1725), pastor of the Second Congrega- 
tional church from 1742 to 1785. 

2 Jonathan Parsons (B.A., Yale, 1729), pastor of the Presbyterian church 
in Newburyport, Mass., from 1746 to 1776. John Murray, the father of 
universalism in America, emigrated to this country in 1770. 

David McClure 147 

not preached his principles. His text was, " As Moses 
lifted up the serpent in the wilderness &c." The religious 
people here appear much pleased with Mr. Murray's 
preaching ; but when he came out and declared his erro- 
neous sentiments, they universally fell off, & did not invite 
him to their houses. There was a strange mixture of 
seriousness & drollery, & a theatrical air, in his preaching. 

We called on the Rev. Mr. Dana 1 of Ipswich, an ingen- 
ious & amiable man. At Cambridge, Mr. James Win- 
throp, 2 Librarian, went with us to spend part of an evening 
with Mr. Lock 3 , president of the College. We arrived at 
Boston, & finding that Gov? Hutchinson resided at his 
seat in Milton, we waited on him there. He received us 
with politeness; and after some conversation, said he 
wished well to the College ; but as times were, he did not 
think an application to the Assembly for a grant, would 
meet with success. 

Conversing on the political state of the province of 
Massachusetts, he said, " he had the satisfaction to believe, 
that the opposition to government was pretty much con- 
fined to a faction, in the town of Boston." At this time 
he thought it not prudent or safe, as I was informed to go 
into Boston, so great was the jealousy & rage of the 
people against him. He inquired of us, the disposition 
of the people in the country, towards the government. 
We did not think it necessary to inform him, all we knew 
of the disaffection of the people in general, towards British 
measures & to him personally. 4 Concluding there was 
not much prospect of better success in Connecticut, to 

1 Joseph Dana (B.A., Yale, 1760) pastor of the South Congregational 
church from 1765 to 1827. 

2 B.A., 1769; Librarian, 1772-1787. 

3 Rev. Samuel Locke, (B.A., 1755), President from March, 1770. He 
resigned the presidency about three weeks later. 

4 At this date Boston was aflame with resistance to the proposed consign- 
ment of cargoes of tea on which a tax was levied. The destruction of the 
tea in Boston harbor occurred five weeks later. 

148 Diary of 

the Gov? of which, Mr. Trumbull, we had a Letter from 
Gov? Wentworth, we gave up the intention of going there. 
From Boston, I went with my good friend & companion 
Mr. Ripley, to visit his friends in Halifax, not far from 
Plymouth. Returned to Boston, & preached for my 
worthy minister, Rev. Mr. Moorehead, now one of the 
oldest ministers in the town. 

When last at Portsmouth, the Selectmen invited me to 
take the care of a public School of Misses. I concluded, 
as the business of our mission did not meet with the 
wished for success, to return and take the School, for a 
few months. 

Nov. 23? Reached Salem. There left Mr. Ripley, & 
proceeded to Portsmouth. 

27th. Kept Sabbath with Mr. Hastings at North 
Hampton. Engaged to keep the School 5 months. Sal- 
ary £60 per annum. Lodged at the Rev. Dr. Langdon's, 1 
where I hope for much profit from his conversation, and 
the advantages which the recess from School hours, may 
give me for study. 

Dec. 1. Opened the School, consisting the first day of 
about 30 Misses. Afterwards they increased to 70 and 
80 ; so that I was obliged to divide the day between 
them, & one half came in the forenoon, and the other in 
the Afternoon. They were from 7 to 20 years of age. 
Mr. Samuel Parker, 2 afterwards settled in the ministry in 
Boston, was my predecessor in the school. I attended to 
them in reading, writing, arithmetic & geography princi- 
pally. This is, I believe, the only female School, (sup- 
ported by the town) in New England, it is a wise and 
useful institution. 

The government of the School, I find easy. They do 
not require so much severity as boys, & are more fearful 
of offending. If their patience in persevering studies is 

1 Samuel Langdon(B.A., Harvard, 1740), afterwards President of Harvard. 

2 B.A. , Harvard, 1764 ; consecrated Bishop of Massachusetts in 1804. 

David McClure 149 

less than boys, they appear to possess a more quick ap- 
prehension. By means of my pupils, I became acquainted 
with their parents, and passed many agreeable hours with 
several respectable people in the town. I had a chamber 
at Dr. Langdon's, where I pursued my studies. 

Received an invitation to preach at Dover, in conse- 
quence of the sickness of their minister, Mr. Belknap. 1 I 
used to ride there 12 miles, on Saturday & returned on 
Monday Mornings, at the School hour. Rec'd an invita- 
tion from the town of Colerain, Massachusetts, to preach 
there, but my engagements forbade my going. 

1774 March 5. My health has not been good the win- 
ter past. My complaint is of the bilious kind, & attended 
with its natural effects, loss of appetite & debility, yet 
through the goodness of God, I have been able to attend 
to business. My indisposition is, no doubt, the effect of 
great fatigue in my itinerations, the last year, on the 
frontiers of Pennsylvania. 

The people of this town are polite & gay. The Gover- 
nor, who resides in town, is a gentleman of great affability 
& amiable in his manners, & lives in high style ; & too 
many endeavor to imitate his mode of living, whose cir- 
cumstances would forbid it. 

Rec'd an invitation to preach to a Congregation in New- 
bury Port (late Mr. Marsh's)." 

March 6. Preached there, & 8th returned to Ports- 
mouth, via Exeter. My principle exercise is riding once 
or twice in the week to Greenland, & passing an evening 
with my Uncle McClintock, whose conversation is always 
instructive. His Lady was a daughter of Capt. Mont- 
gomery of Portsmouth. They had a numerous family of 
children, sensible & agreeable. 

April 9. Having engaged to preach a few Sabbaths at 

1 Jeremy Belknap (B.A., Harvard, 1762), pastor there from 1767 to 1798. 

2 Rev. Christopher B. Marsh (B.A., Harvard, 1761), pastor of the North 
Congregational Church, died December, 1773. 

i5° Diary of 

Newberryport, & finding my health insufficient for this 
service and the confinement & labour of a large school, I 
accordingly resigned the latter, and went to Newberryport. 
The society in this place, appears to be divided in senti- 
ment, in some of the principles of religion; a few being 
much pleased with what is called the Hopkinsian divinity 
(as held forth by Mr. Nath'l Niles, who has been lately 
preaching here, on probation,) and others, of the school 
of moderate Calvinism. 

\6th. Confined several days with the Jaundice, at the 
house of my host and hostess Hoyt's. 

19th. My sister Rachel came to town from Exeter, & 
I went with her to Boston. 

2$rd. Returned to Ipswich, & preached on the Sab- 
bath for Mr. Dana, who went to preach for me at New- 
berry port. 

2%th. Preached a Sacramental evening Lecture at 
Portsmouth for my respected friend Dr. Langdon. 

Received an invitation to supply the pulpit of the late 
venerable Mr. Moorhead in Boston. 

May 4. Put up at the Widow Moorhead's. Found the 
place convenient for study. The family small. The 
Widow is unhappily deranged. The distraction is of the 
melancholy cast, silent & averse to company or society. 
She was once an accomplished wit & beauty, tenderly be- 
loved by her husband. Her distraction was thought to 
be the effect of an uncommon flow of spirits, and lively 
imagination, too intensely applied to reading and study. 
One son and two daughters survive. The son, (Alexan- 
der) is now a surgeon in the british navy in Boston har- 
bour. Her daughter Mary takes care of her poor mother, 
a negro young man does the housework. Scipio is an 
ingenious and serious African. He possesses a natural 
genius for painting, and has taken several tolerable 

July yth. Rode to Cambridge, lodged with Mr. J. 

David McClure 151 

Winthrop, the Librarian, & next day viewed the Library, 
Museum, & returned to Boston. 

\%th. Set out with Mr. John Wheelock for Portsmouth. 

igt/i. Reached Haverhill, Major Bartlet's. An agree- 
able family. The next day to Exeter & Greenland. 

21st. At Portsmouth, preached for Dr. Langdon. 

3 1 st. Preached at Charlestown. Their minister is the 
aged Mr. Prentice. 1 Lodg'd at Mr. Codman's. Engaged 
to preach to the Congregation of Doctor Pemberton, (who 
has lately resigned,) a few Sabbaths. The Dr. was 
formerly a minister in New York, & a very eloquent 
and popular preacher of evangelical principles. By inter- 
marriages, having had 4 wealthy wives, he is independent 
in his circumstances, & rides in his coach. Governor 
Hutchinson is a member of his Church, & between them 
there is a great intimacy & friendship, in consequence of 
which, the Dr. is unpopular, & his people began to forsake 
his ministry, before his resignation. He is much of the 
gentleman, & though advanced in life, is active, lively 
& social. 2 — Rode to Eastown with my sister Rachel, to 
Mr. Ferguson's to see my young brother Joseph. Found 
him comfortably situated in the family of one of the pious 
friends of my father. Went from Boston to the meeting 
of Presbytery in Salem, being invited to accompany Mr. 
Murray of Booth Bay— Mr. McNeil & Lady— Mr. Mc- 
Lane & Lady & their daughter Polly, & Mrs. Maxwell. 
Application was made for the admission of Mr. Murray, 
as a member of the Presbytery. A written confession 
was exhibited by him, but it was not satisfactory. Messrs. 
McGregore & Whitaker & a small majority were opposed 
to the request. Mr. Murray had been accused in Ireland, 

1 Rev. Thomas Prentice (Harvard, 1726), minister of First Church, 
Charlestown, Mass., 1 739-1 782. 

2 Ebenezer Pemberton, Jr. (Harvard, 1721), was minister of the First Pres- 
byterian Church in New York from 1727 to 1753, and of the New Brick 
Church in Boston from 1754. For his marriages, see J\T. E. Hist, and 
General Register, xlvi., 396. 

i5 2 Diary of 

of forging a Cirtificate of his membership with the Presby- 
tery in Northumberland, in order to introduce him into 
that of Ballymeny in Ireland, near his native place. 

In the paper presented to the Presbytery, he confessed, 
that he had made use of a forged Cirtificate, but denied that 
it was written by him, & refused to mention the names of 
the authors, who he said, were two young men, who meant 
it as an act of friendship to him. He professed his repen- 
tance, that he had used it, knowing it to be a forgery. 
Mr. Parsons of Newberry port, was earnest for his admis- 
sion, but could not prevail. Mr. Murray was one of the 
most eloquent & pleasing preachers that I ever heard ; & 
I had opportunity when a lad to hear him often, in Mr. 
Moorhead's pulpit. Soon after his arrival from Ireland, 
which was when he was very young, he was settled in 
Philadelphia, in the church of the late Rev. Gilbert Ten- 
nant ; He was there almost worshipped by the people of 
that Society : but in consequence of reports from Ireland, 
relative to the said Cirtificate &c. He removed into the 
province of Maine. There he has supported a respectable 
character, many years. He bore the same Christian & sir 
names, as the Universalist J. Murray, but his sentiments 
were very different, for he was a calvinist. 1 

Returned to Boston, having spent a few days very 
agreeably in this excursion. 

Sept. iqth. Spent the past summer pleasantly in Boston, 
& preached principally to the Society of the late Mr. 
Moorhead, & Dr. Pemberton's. My health has been 
comfortable, my exercise has been principally on horse 
back, in rides to Dorchester Neck & the towns around 
Boston. The tranquility of the town has been, however, 
dreadfully interrupted by the arrival, of Gov r Gage & 4 
british regiments, & some ships of force, the past summer. 

The troops are encamped on the commons, and are ex- 

1 He was finally settled, in 1781, as Mr. Parsons's successor. See 
Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, iii., 50. 

David McClure 153 

ercised every day, & make a martial appearance. The 
good people of Boston are in great perplexity, fearful of 
the consequences of the expected arrival of more of those 
sons of violence. 

The inhabitants of Boston received their new Governor 
Gage, at his landing : on the Long Wharf, & his procession 
to the town house, with a kind of mournful silence, & 
without those expressions of respect which they had been 
wont to pay to a new chief magestrate. They considered 
him as a General who had come to subdue them, rather 
than as a Governor to rule them. 

What added to the melancholy scene, was the arrival 
of the Port Bill, a little before, 5 by which the harbour was 
shut up, & trade interdicted. By this most oppressive act 
of the British parliament, several thousands of the indus- 
trious inhabitants were left destitute of employment & the 
means of living. 

I was present in Fanuel Hall, when, on the arrival, of 
this distressing news, the people had assembled, to con- 
sult what to do. There was a constellation of patriots, 
determined to resist oppression. 

The Adamses, Hancock, Coopers, Warren & Quincey & 
others, spoke their minds on the trying occasion. Mr. 
John Adams opened the meeting in a firm, patriotic, & 
animated speech, of about half an hour. At the pathetic 
representation of approaching sufferings, tears dropt from 
many a manly face. Several expedients were proposed 
for the support of the labouring poor, & some adopted. 
A committee of correspondence was appointed to com- 
municate to all the great towns in the Colonies, & the 
authorities, the distresses of Boston, & to ask advice &c. 
The people met the next day in the Old South meeting 
house. Tories appeared there, & by their principal 
leader Harrison Gray, opposed the doings of the people. 

1 As successor to Gov. Hutchinson, on May 17, 1774. 

2 May 10th. 

154 Diary of 

But their opposition was unavailing. I pass over the pub- 
lic doings of that day, as they are particularly related in 
the various histories of the american revolutionary war. 

Frequently walked into the commons, & saw the mili- 
tary exercises of the British. One day, while there two 
of the soldiers were shot at the bottom of the commons, 
for desertion, a Chaplain attended them, & affectionately 
exhorted, & prayed with them. 

A solemn & sorrowful silence reigned among the officers 
& soldiers, who were all paraded under arms for several 
minutes, at the execution. I boarded about 10 days at 
the Widow Halls, in the main street. My brother Wm. 
sailed this summer for Quebec, & from thence for the W. 

Received a request from Dr. Langdon (to whose kind- 
ness I am under grateful obligations) to supply his pulpit 
2 or 3 Sabbath. Bid adieu to an agreeable circle of friends 
in Boston & 

Sept 7 : 21. Reached Portsmouth. 

Dr. Langdon having accepted the invitation to the 
presidency of Cambridge College, the Wardens of his 
church desired me to supply the pulpit, which I engaged 
to do, after one Sabbath. 

Octb e . r 3. Set out on a journey to Dartm? College, to 
spend a few days in company with Adams, March, Trail 
& Boyd Students. 1 Lodged at Conner's in Pembroke, 42 

Afth. Reached Sleepers in New Cheshire, 8 34 m. 

yh. To Bingham's in Rellan, 3 23 m. 

6th. To Dartm? College, 8m. — 107 Miles. 

Found our worthy patron Dr. Wheelock & friends, well. 

1 Nathaniel Adams, from Portsmouth, N. H., was now a Senior ; Stephen 
March, from Greenland, N. H., was a Junior ; William Traill, of Ports- 
mouth, removed to Harvard College in March, 1776, and was graduated at 
Harvard in 1777. 

2 The present town of Hill, in Grafton County, then named New Chester. 

3 Relhan, now named Enfield. 

David McClure 155 

On the day of our arrival, had the pleasure of saluting our 
friends Frisbie & Dean, 1 just returned from a mission into 
Canada. The kind hand of a protecting providence, has 
sustained us among friends & in heathen lands, & gives 
abundant cause to rejoice together in the divine bounty ! 

Octb r . 9. Preached, forenoon & afternoon in the Col- 
lege Hall. Having passed a few days very pleasantly 
there, with my dear friends, Frisbie, Ripley, Wheelock, 
Crane, Dean, &c. — Set out on the 12th to return to Ports- 

13//2. Crossed Merrimack river, & lodged at Mr. Whit- 
temore's in Pembroke. Could not get lodging at the 
tavern, on account of the great number of people there, 
who are engaged in the business of taking up Tories. In 
the morning, they compelled one Dicks to make a long 
Confession, from the head of a large Cask, to about 300 
sons of Liberty. 

\6th. Octb r . Preached at Portsmouth. 

7. Nov r . Set out for Boston, & 19th returned to Ports- 
mouth, where I expect to pass the ensuing winter. 

Rev. Dr. Langdon & his family being about to remove 
to Cambridge, I took up my residence in the worthy fam- 
ily of Deacon Samuel Penhallow Esq 1 - 3 I have here the 
priviledge of the town Library, which contains some val- 
uable authors in Theology, & in the very orderly & quiet 
family, in which I am happily accommodated, I hope to 
spend the time profitably to myself, & to the large & re- 
spectable Society, in which I am invited to officiate. 

1775. March. This spring being invited to preach some 
time to the Society of the late Mr. Moorhead in Boston, 
I went there & continued to the time of the 

Lexington battle, the ever memorable 
April 19th 1775. 

Previous to this beginning of a long & distressing war, 

1 James Dean (B.A., Dartmouth, 1773). 

2 See Brewster's Rambles about Portsmouth, i., 315, 316 ; ii., 153, 154. 

156 Diary of 

with our parent country Britain, the officers & soldiers, 
appeared to live in harmony with the people of Boston, 
& the people with them. By the British marching out of 
Boston, in the night, to destroy some American stores at 
Concord, it appeared that they were disposed to provoke 
the provencials to hostility. The 15th. I went to a guard 
house of the British, to see Mr. Piety, the Conductor of 
the Artillery, with whom I had been acquainted at Fort 
Pitt. I found them ingaged in filling cartages for Cannon, 
from a tub of powder. Mr. Piety arose & walked with 
me into the Street. He informed me that they had or- 
ders to march into the country in 4 days, & were much 
engaged in preparing. I mentioned, that I dreaded the 
consequences ; because I was satisfied the people in the 
country would not suffer them to march far into it : that 
they were prepared to attack them, should the British 
offer violence to persons or property ; & that their march 
would be the commencement of hostility. He replied, 
" God knows I did not come here, with a hostile disposi- 
tion against the people ; but am ordered here & must 
obey." He appeared uncomfortably affected with what 
was likely to happen. We parted, & I never afterwards 
heard what was his fate. I mentioned to sundry people 
in Boston, my information, without exposing the officer's 
name. But people were unwilling to realize that war was 
at the door. One and another said, it was one of Gage's 
blustering maneuvres, & that he durst not send his soldiers 
out &c. — They went out, however, at the time. 

Wednesday, April \gth. While at breakfast, at my brother 
William's at the South End, a neighbour came in, & said 
the Regulars had marched into the Country, & killed sev- 
eral men at Lexington. I went into the street & found 
the inhabitants in great perplexity and fear. They were 
unwilling to believe the report : but about 10 O'Clock, it 
was confirmed by a Mr. Pope, just returned from Lex- 
ington, who saw the men dead there, said to be 7 or 8. 

David McClure 157 

About II O'Clock, Lord Peircy's brigade marched out 
of town, with 2 field pieces, to reinforce Col. Smith, 
who, it was said, was driven by the militia, & was hastily 
retreating. I stood in the street as they passed. They 
all appeared, except a few officers, to be young men, & 
had never been in action. Not a smiling face was among 
them. Some of them appeared to have been weeping. 
Their countenances were sad. Some of those poor fel- 
lows never returned. Apprehensive that the town was 
soon to be shut, in the afternoon, with melancholy forbod- 
ings of the issue of this day's awful tragedy, I got my 
horse & rode to Charlestown ferry, hoping to get out that 
way. There were some hundreds of the inhabitants there, 
and among them some of the ministers of Boston, wishfully 
looking over to the other side, & longing to get out of 
their once beloved town, where order, peace & righteous- 
ness once dwelt, but now murderers. A British Man of 
War ' lay in the river, & a barge from her met the ferry 
boat, crowded with passengers, & ordered it back. The 
fears of the people there waiting, were greatly excited by 
this unwelcome circumstance. 

I turned about, with a resolution to try to get out at the 
neck leading to Roxbury, which the british had strongly 
fortified. Rode by several barracks ; saw the soldiers 
paraded, under arms, and officers pale & running or riding 
from one barrack to another. It was thought, that they 
were under apprehension of the inhabitants rising on the 
remains of the troops now left in Boston ; & no doubt, had 
the inhabitants been prepared, they could have made 
Gage & all his men in Boston, prisoners & shut up the 
town, and those who were without, with Peircy and Smith 
must have submitted to the militia, who were rapidly 
collecting from all the towns around ; and thus, perhaps, 
an end would have been put to the war as soon as it was 
began. But providence was pleased to order it other- 

1 The Somerset. 

158 Diary of 

wise ; & this small movement of the day, was necessary 
to begin that train of events, which extended through a 
long & distressing war, & which finally seperated the 
Colonies of America, from the Mother country. Thus, 
in his sovereign power & goodness, the Most High divides 
to the nations their inheritence, & seperates the sons of 

I passed some tories in the street, who seemed to enjoy 
the confusion, & were calling to each other, " What think 
ye of the Congress now ? " ' 

At the neck, I passed the guards & centinels of the 
british, bowing to them, as I rode, although with no very 
pleasant feelings towards them, expecting every moment 
to be stopped, but they suffered me to pass, and I rejoiced 
to find myself in Roxbury, & beyond the reach of their 
arms. The sun was about half an hour above the western 
horizon. Saw several men on horseback, on a rising 
ground, looking over to Cambridge, I rode up to them & 
immediately heard the noise of battle from Cambridge 
across the bay. There was a constant firing of small 
arms. The sound was dreadful. It was the first time, I 
had ever heard a gun fired in anger. I found it difficult 
to perswade myself that people who had lived so long 
peaceably together, were now killing each other. But 
such was the dreadful reality. O War, " thou shame to 
man ! " O why will " men forget that they are brethren ! " 
Were there no other proofs of the deep, and universal 
depravity of our moral nature, the existence of war, is a 
sufficiently dreadful proof. 

I was informed by one of the gentlemen, Major Mayo, 8 
that I could not get to Cambridge, as was my intention, 
for the bridge was taken up, to prevent the british return- 
ing that way. He invited me to go to his house, about 3 

1 The title of an anonymous pamphlet (written by the Rev. Dr. Thomas 
B. Chandler), published at New York early in 1775. 

2 Joseph Mayo. See Drake's Roxbury, 441-442. 

David McClure 159 

miles. I willingly accompanied him. The house was a 
place of anxiety & sorrow. It was evening. 7 or 8 Ladies 
from Boston were there, & their husbands & families were 
in town. The night was spent by them in wakefulness & 
weeping. About 10 O'Clock in the evening, the Major's 
son returned from the battle, to the great joy of his 
parents, & gave us the first information of particulars. It 
was wonderful that a collection of militia men, should be 
inspired with such courage, & drive the disciplined troops 
of Britain before them. Several circumstances in provi- 
dence, appeared to be ordered in favor of our righteous 
cause. These circumstances, struck the minds of all ; and 
men of no religious principle at other times, now seemed to 
be affected with them. 

Among other things, it is proper to mention, that the 
element of air helped our cause. He who caused the 
stars in their courses to fight against Sisera, who wared 
against Israel, caused on this day, the wind to rise, & 
follow the retreating enemy, covering them with such a 
cloud of dust, that blinded them, yet not so but that 
they were, in their crowded ranks in the road, a plain 
mark for the militia. 

All night, the people were silently marching by the 
house, from neighbouring towns. I did not take off my 
clothes ; but lay down a little while on the bed. At the 
dawn of day, the Major & I mounted our horses, & rode to 
Roxbury street, anxious to know what had been done. 
The town was still as a grave yard, the people from the 
thick settled part, having moved out. A few militia men 
only, I saw there. Determining to see what had been 
done on the rout of the enemy, I rode to Watertown, & 
from thence came on the road leading to Lexington. I 
went almost to the meeting house, where the first american 
blood was wantonly spilt, but the rain necessitated me to 
return. Dreadful were the vestages of war on the road. 
I saw several dead bodies, principally british, on & near 

160 Diary of 

the road. They were all naked, having been stripped, 
principally, by their own soldiers. They lay on their 
faces. Several were killed who stopped to plunder, & 
were suddenly surprised by our people pressing upon 
their rear. I went into a house in Menotomy,' where was 
a stout farmer, walking the room, from whose side a 
surgeon had just cut out a musket ball, which had entered 
his breast, & glancing between the ribs, had lodged about 
half way to his back. He held the ball in his hand, & it 
was remarkable, that 2 it was flattened on one side by the 
ribs, as if it had been beaten with a hammer. He was a 
plain honest man to appearence, who had voluntarily 
turned out with his musket, at the alarm of danger, as did 
also some thousands besides on that memorable day. In 
the same room, lay mortally wounded, a british Officer, 
Lieu' Hull, 3 a youthful, fair & delicate countinance. He 
was of a respectable family of fortune, in Scotland. Sit- 
ting on one feather bed, he leaned on another, & was 
attempting to suck the juice of an Orange, which some 
neighbour had brought. The physician of the place had 
been to dress his wounds, & a woman was appointed to 
attend him. His breaches were bloody, lying on the bed. 
I observed that he had no shirt on, & was wrapped in a 
coating great coat, with a fur cap on his head. I inquired 
of the woman, why he was thus destitute of cloathing? 
He answered, " when I fell, our people (the british) 
stripped off my coat, vest & shirt, & your people my 
shoes & buckles." How inhuman his own men ! 

I asked him, if he was dangerously wounded ? he re- 
plied, " yes, mortally ." That he had received three balls 
in his body. His countenance expressed great bodily 
anguish. I conversed with him a short time, on the pros- 

1 Now Arlington, Mass. 

2 An extract from this Diary, beginning here and extending to the end of 
the account of the Tory Davis, was printed in the Proceedings of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society for April, 1878 (pp. 157, 158). 

3 Edward Hull, of the 43d Regiment. 

David McClure 161 

pect of death & a preperation for that solemn scene, to 
which he appeared to pay serious attention. He lived 
about a week, & the people conveyed his body in a Coffin 
to Charlestown ferry, where I happened to be present, & 
a barge from the Somerset, took it to Boston. 

Not far from this house, lay 4 fine british horses. The 
people were taking off their shoes. One informed me, 
that a waggon loaded with provisions was sent from 
Boston, for the refreshment of the retreating army, under 
an escort of 6 Granidiers. They had got as far as this 
place, when a number of men, 10 or 12, collected, and 
ordered them to surrender. They marched on, & our 
men fired, killed the driver & the horses, when the rest 
fled a little way, & surrendered. Another waggon sent 
on the same business, was also taken that day. It was 
strange that General Gage should send them through a 
country, in which he had just kindled the flames of war, 
in so defenceless a condition. Saw 3 regulars, in beds in 
a house in Cambridge, one of them mortally wounded. 
Conversed with them on their melancholy situation. One 
of them refused to answer, and cast upon me a revengeful 
look. Perhaps he was a papist, & his priest had pardoned 
his sins. The houses on the road of the march of the 
british, were all perforated with balls, & the windows 
broken. Horses, cattle & swine lay dead around. Such 
were the dreadful trophies of war, for about 20 miles ! I 
hovered around Boston several days. Very few of the 
inhabitants were permitted to come out. Hav? some 
things in Boston, which I wished to have sent round to 
Marblehead, I wrote to my brother in law Capt? Henry 
Hunter, who with my sister Hunter were there, to send 
them. And having obtained a permit from the Col? 
command? our Militia at Roxbury, to go to the british 
guard on the Neck, I went within call, & waved my hat for 
permission to advance, when Davis, a Boston tory, & in- 
spector of those who came out, came towards me : but 

1 62 Diary of 

refused to take the letter which I reached towards him. 
He said Gen. Gage had given orders that there should be 
no communication between town & Country. 1 I got my 
letter in, however, the same day. 

I received a letter from my Uncle McClintock, in be- 
half of the people of North Hampton N. H. requesting 
that I would come & preach there, a few Sabbaths. His 
letter was dated a few days before the commencement of 
hostilities. The following is extracted from it. " I am 
anxious for the issue of our troubles.— It is a comfortable 
consideration at all times, especially such a day as this, 
that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. He can & he will 
order & overrule all the designs & actions of men, & all 
the events of time, to promote the best & noblest ends. 
The government of events belongs to him : let us en- 
deavour to know & faithfully to pursue the duty he is 
calling us to in providence ; & if we are his faithful serv- 
ants he will protect & defend us, amidst all the dangers 
that may surround us in this evil world. 

am yours affectionately, 

Samuel McClintock. 

Wise observers of the times felt unwelcome forebodings 
of approaching troubles. 

Went to North Hampton, & preached there a few Sab- 

July 1775. Received an invitation from the first Church 
& Congregation in Portsmouth, to settle with them in the 
work of the Gospel ministry. My honored friend, presi- 

1 Davis had greatly provoked many of the inhabitants who were per- 
mitted to leave the town, by his meanness, in searching the pockets, it was 
said, of women & men, to see that they carried out no more money than 
Gage allowed. To show the lenity of the American character, Davis was 
permitted to return & live in peace in Boston, where I saw him in 1805, 
hobling on his staff ; when he told me, he was allowed but a Guinea p. r 
day, for his and his son's services, in that unworthy Office. (Author's 

David McClure 163 

dent Langdon, I was informed, was pleased to recom- 
mend me to his beloved people, at his removal to 
Cambridge. The invitation, to me was unexpected. But 
such was the confusion of the times, & the exposed situa- 
tion of the place, as well as all other seaports on the con- 
tinent, to the depredations of the enemy, that I concluded 
it would not be expedient to determine on an answer 
speedily, & being pleased with my former situation there 
as favorable to study, I returned to the family of the 
worthy Deacon Penhallow, & preached there through the 
summer, & until the May following. The town, in that 
space of time, was frequently alarmed with threatened 
visits from the british navy ; particularly, 

Octbr igth. — Rec 1 ? news by post, that Capt? Mowett, 
with an armed force, had arrived at Falmouth, now Port- 
land, to plunder & destroy it. And that Portsmouth was 
threatened to be visited next. General consternation 
among the people. 

20///. — They begin to move out their effects. The 
town full of teams, and horse carts. 

22, Sabbath. — Preached part of the day. 

In the evening, General Sullivan arrived, & this, & 
many following days, the men were busily employed in 
fortifying the harbour ; preparing a boom, fire rafts, &c. 
Gov? Wentworth had fled, & taken refuge on board a 
man of War in the River, 1 and with him went several 
friends of governm' . 

Nov. 5. — Preached. The town still in Confusion. The 
Sons of Liberty for several days busy in taking up Tories 
& suspected persons, confining some, &c. 

Major McClary of Epsom, had been down with a party, 
& seized the powder, & cannon at the Fort. 

July 1776. — The Society in Portsmouth renewed the 
call which they gave me about a year past. The terms 

1 He never returned to New England, but was Governor of Nova Scotia 
from 1792 to 1808, and died there in 1820. 

1 64 Diary of 

were ;£ioo and the free contribution. After much anx- 
iety & serious consideration to know the path of duty, 
I sent a negative answer from Boston to the Committee, 
July 13th, directed to the care of Deacon Penhallow. 
The good man understanding the purport of it, sent it 
back, unopened, & desired me to come to Portsmouth. 
I accordingly went. The motives inducing my non-ac- 
ceptance, were principally, the troubles of the times, the 
want of a more perfect union in the Society to ensure 
the prospect of peace and usefulness, & the insufficiency 
of the Salary, in such a town as Portsmouth. In this 
negative, I did a degree of violence to my own feelings, 
on account of a great number of worthy pious people 
who were urgent for my settlement, and of whose friend- 
ship & kindness, I had received abundant proofs, in my 
long residence among them. It has been always pleas- 
ing to me to recollect the friendship of many there, par- 
ticularly Deacon Penhallow & Lady — Dr. Cutter & family 
— M* John Sherburne — Capt? & Mrs. Knight — Mess? 5 
Nath.i Treadwell, Richard Hart &c &c. 

Supplied the pulpit of the new South in Boston, two 
Sabbaths, at the time of my answer. Received an invi- 
tation by a letter from Col° Nightingale of Providence, 
to preach there, but engagements at Portsmouth at that 
time prevented my going. 

1776. July. — Preached two Sabbaths at Ipswich for Mr. 
Dana, who preached for me in Boston. 

Received an invitation to preach at North Hampton, & 
went there. Unexpectedly to me, the people gave me a 
unanimous invitation to settle with them. I was much 
at loss what was my duty. The Union of the people, al- 
though a small society, after being much divided in their 
choice of candidates, and the advice of friends, prevailed 
with me to accept. 

Nov. \$th. — I was installed at North Hampton. — Rev. 
Mr. Stearns of Epping preached. Present Rev. Mess' s 

David McClure 165 

Stevens of Kittery, McClintock — Thayer — Thatcher of 
Maiden & Frisbie of Ipswich. 1 

Resided some time at Dr. Dearborn's, Some people 
from Portsmouth living in the parsonage, which is a large 
old house, & about 30 acres of land, which they give me 
to use, & a Salary of ^90. May I have grace to be faith- 
ful and the happiness to find my labors, in some good de- 
gree successful, in this part of the vineyard of our Lord, 
while God in his providence shall continue me here. 

The vicinity to my good Uncle Mr. McClintock, (about 

5 miles,) I hope will be profitable to me, on whose friend- 
ship & counsel I may depend. This is a circumstance, 
inducive of my acceptance. This parish is the north divi- 
sion of the ancient town of Hampton, & extends about f 
of a mile on the Sea Coast, lying between Newberry Port 

6 Portsmouth. There are about 90 families. Some of 
them depend on the fishery principally. 

Took possession of the parsonage house, & brought my 
youngest sister Nancy from Boston, to keep house for me ; 
& invited my brother Thomas, who then lived in Cam- 
bridge, to come & live with me, to improve his time in 
the study of some useful branches of learning : he accord- 
ingly came, and afterwards I took my brother Benjamin 
one of the twins, who had lived with Mr. Ferguson at 
Newtown, to live with me. My brother Thomas kept a 
school in my neighbourhood to good satisfaction, & after 
a few years went into trade in Bristol, on Damiscotta 

My brother Benjamin, after about a year, went into the 
army, & from thence to sea, & was the master of a ship 
belonging to Carolina. My sister Nancy lived with me 
nearly 5 years, & died of a consumption, at my sister 
Hunter's in Boston. 

During the confusion of the times in Boston, Capt? 

1 His old associate, Levi Frisbie, installed pastor of the First Church in 
Ipswich, Mass., in February, 1776. 

1 66 Diary of 

Hunter & sister came, & lived with me about a year. 
June 1778. Exchanged with Mr. Moody of Arundal. 1 

Received a letter from my honored patron Dr. Wheelock 
notifying my appointment as a Trustee of Dartmouth 
College, and requesting my attendance at the next com- 
mencement. — Attended in 1778 & returned with Mr. 
Phillips of Andover — 79. 

During my residence at North Hampton, kept a few 
lads from Portsmouth & elsewhere, to instruct in eng- 
lish & latin. My salary greatly depreciated. The conti- 
nental bills were made a legal tendry throughout the 
Colonies. Rec? some years, less than half my Salary, in 
value. The last year of the existance of the old conti- 
nental bills, I received of my salary, but about 20 Dollars 
in real value. Many individuals were kind in donations 
according to their ability, and the Society annually made 
additions, but they fell far short, especially before I rec* 
it, by rapid depreciation. 

Sept. 20. 1780. — Attended the commencement at Dart- 
mouth College, in company with Geo. Jeffrey Esq! of 
Portsmouth, one of the Trustees. After the session of the 
board, accompanied the Rev. Dr. Pomeroy to Hebron in 
Connecticut, and spent a few days there. Visited Leba- 
non Crank, where I had in former years been a pupil & 
afterwards an instructor in Moore's School. Saw several 
of my acquaintance. 

Dec. 10. 1780. — Was married at Hebron, to Miss Hannah 
Pomeroy, youngest daughter of Rev. Dr. Benjamin Pom- 
eroy. 2 Her mother was Abigail Wheelock, sister to 
President Wheelock. 

2\st. — We set out for North Hampton, where we ar- 
rived in safety, and were welcomed by neighbours & 
friends. May the guidence & blessing of God attend us 

1 Rev. Silas Moody (B.A., Harvard, 1761), pastor at Arundel, now Ken- 
nebunkport, Maine, from 1771 to 1816. 

5 A classmate of Dr. Wheelock at Yale (1733)- 

David McClure 167 

through the various duties & employments of this change- 
able world ! 

1 78 1. Nov. 14///. — We were blessed with a daughter, 
whom we dedicated to God in baptism, & named her 
Abigail Wheelock. 

1783. Octb r . 29th. — Our second child Rachel was born. 

My time was employed during about 8 years residence 
in Hampton, in study, in parochial duties & the instruc- 
tion of a few boys, & domestic concerns. I visited my 
friends in Boston, about twice in the year — attended the 
Commencements at the College, & frequently rode to 
Greenland & Portsmouth & to Exeter, at which latter 
lived my brother James & sister Randlet. I sometimes 
went off on the water with the fishermen, & visited the 
Isle of Shoals, two or three times. 

1784. — I contemplated a removal from this place, & the 
reasons inducing me were the following. — It seemed to 
me that I was not spending my life here so usefully as I 
might in some other department of the Vineyard of 
Christ, as the parish was small, & nearly surrounded with 
neighbouring churches of the same congregational per- 
suasion, and at convenient distances for the people who 
were settled much on the borders of the parish, and none 
of the ministers could so conveniently remove as myself. — 
My predecessor Mr. Hastings had embraced the Sande- 
manian principles, & went off with the British troops to 
Nova Scotia, being attached to the British government. 
His political sentiments were embraced by several of the 
people, and they left the society, & joined themselves to 
the baptists in Stratham, whose minister was a Tory. 1 By 
their defection they weakened the Society. — My support 
was small, & I found it difficult to procure fuel, the wood 
having been greatly destroyed, during the war. — In case 
of my inability to perform the work of the ministry, there 

1 Dr. Samuel Shepard was ordained by the Baptists at Stratham, the town 
adjoining North Hampton on the northwest, in 1771. 

1 68 Diary of 

was no provision or prospect of any, for my family, as I 
lived in a parsonage house. These reasons I mentioned 
to the people, and with a tender concern for their welfare, 
as well as my own, asked a dismission. Some were grieved 
& others offended. Finding the people averse to agree 
with me to call a council to determine my duty & dis- 
solve the relation, I invited several of the neighbouring 
ministers to the parsonage house, to witness our transac- 
tions. The Society were in arrears to me, by the depreci- 
ation of Salary, towards ^"200, which I gave them, satisfied 
that it would be difficult for them, after the losses of war, 
to pay it. 

The following Council of ministers met — The Rev. 
Doctor Langdon, Dr. Haven, Rev. Mess'* McClintock, 
Thayer & Buckminster, and after a statement of matters, 
were pleased to present to me the following certificate. — 

Whereas the Rev. David McClure, who was settled 
about nine years ago, as a minister of the Gospel in the 
parish of North Hampton & State of New Hampshire, & 
pastor of the church in that place, hath, for special reasons 
relating to his worldly circumstances, requested a dismis- 
sion from his ministerial charge ; and both the Church & 
parish have granted his request : and whereas they have 
not consented to make any use of an ecclesiastical Coun- 
cil, in the important affair as was proposed by Mr. Mc- 
Clure, but have finished the whole by themselves, & 
without adding any proper testimony of his good minis- 
terial conduct, during his labors among them. Therefore 
we, a number of ministers in the vicinity, convened at his 
desire in the parish aforesaid, cannot but think it our duty 
in justice to his character, to declare to all the Churches, 
to which these presents shall come, that according to our 
best acquaintance with his ministerial gifts and conduct 
among his people, he has approved himself faithful, and a 
workman who need not be ashamed, & that he has con- 

David McClure 169 

tinued high in the esteem & affections of the people of his 
charge until this time when the proposal of removing 
from them has prevented any recommendation from them, 
in order to his labouring in any other part of the Lord's 

We therefore are unanimous in recommending him to 
the service of the Churches wherever he may go, and wish 
him much of the divine presence & blessing, in whatever 
place it may please the glorious Head of the Church to 
fix his future residence & sacred ministrations. 

Samuel Langdon D.D. 
Samuel Haven D.D. 
Samuel McClintock &c. 
Ebenezer Thayer &c. 
Joseph Buckminster. 

Aug'. 30. 1785. 


Last year I had some expectation of removing into the 
interior parts of Pennsylvania ; where I had some lands & 
many friends. And I went the last fall to my Uncle's at 
the Big Spring about 150 miles West of Philadelphia, my 
family went with me as far as Hebron, and we returned 
to Hampton in the Spring. 1 In my absence I gave up my 
salary. But I now concluded to remove & settle some- 
where in Connecticut, should a door be opened for my 
usefulness there. 

Sent some articles of furniture to Portsmouth to go to 
Connecticut by water ; and with sentiments of tenderness 
& friendship for a people among whom I had pleasantly 
spent several years, I set out, Sept? 15. 1785, with Mrs. 

1 Our honored father Pomeroy died Dec. 22nd, 1784, aged 80 years. He 
had made us one visit to Hampton, soon after the birth of our eldest child. 
He lived a long, laborious & useful life. A most zealous, solemn & affec- 
tionate preacher. Dr. Huntington of Coventry preached at his Funeral. 
Text Daniel 12. 13. " But go thou thy way till the end be : for thou shalt 
rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." (Author's note.) 

i7° Diary of 

McClure and our two children & Ralph Pomeroy Jun. 1 
for Connecticut. 

From Boston I sent my resignation as a Trustee of the 
Phillips Exeter Academy, to which I had been appointed 
by the Founder, The Hon. John Phillips in 1782. — As 

Honorable & respectable gentlemen, 

Having removed from the vicinity of the Phillips Exeter 
Academy, the convenience and interests of that Institu- 
tion, render it my duty to ask you to accept my resigna- 
tion. While I make the surrendry of that station to 
which I had the honor to be appointed by the kind par- 
tiality of the benevolent founder, permit me to say, that I 
esteem it one of the happiest circumstances of my life, 
that I have been (however unworthy) thus connected with 
you, in the advancement of a cause, the most important, 
the virtuous education of the rising generation ; and that I 
have been witness to so noble a generosity, which, under 
the divine providence, your hands now support. 

Permit me to express my most sincere & cordial wishes 
for the prosperity of the Academy. May it shine as a 
star of superior magnitude among her sister seminaries, 
and spread the light of sacred science on the minds of 
multitudes ! 

Having through the goodness of God, ourselves ex- 
perienced the happy consequences which arise from an 
early dedication to the sacred cause of literature & re- 
ligion ; what returns can we make to heaven more grate- 
ful, than by a laudable zeal to transmit the same blessings 
to those of the human race, who are coming after us. 

May God honor you, gentlemen, in making you yet 
more abundantly, successful instruments of this blessing. 

However distant divine providence may please to cast 
my lot, my heart shall ever dilate with warmest wishes for 

1 Son of Mrs. McClure's brother Ralph (B.A., Princeton, 1758). 

David McClure 171 

the prosperity of the Academy, & permit me, gentlemen 
to add, for your personal happiness in all respects, that 
being faithful even unto death in the cause of our adora- 
ble Redeemer, we may have a happy meeting in his king- 
dom, & receive the inconceivably blessed reward of his 

I am, with the highest esteem, 
Hon b ! e & respectable gentlemen, 

Your very obedient & Most 
humble servant 

David McClure. 

Boston, Sept. r 19. 1785. 

To the Hon b ! e Board of Trustees 

of Phillips Exeter Academy. 

24//;.— Left Boston & reached Medfield, Col? Wheelock's 
— Kept Sabbath there. Monday, came to Rev. Mr. 
Hitchcock's in Providence. Tuesday at Esq 1 : Dorrance's ; 
Volentown — Wednesday to Mr. White's in Scotland — 
Thursday to Hebron. Found our daughter Abby, whom 
we left last year with her Aunt Gillet, 1 well. 

Rec? an invitation to supply the pulpit of my late 
honored father in law. Preached thereuntil Jany 1786. 
The Church & Society in Hebron invited me to settle with 
them ; but as they were not so well united as was desira- 
ble, I declined acceptance. Received an invitation, by 
the Committee Deacon Loomis, to preach in the first 
Society in East Windsor. 8 

Accordingly I went there & preached. 

Jany 15. 1786. — Put up at Deacon Olcott's. 

Preached there until the beginning of April, except 2 
Sabbaths at North Lime. 

First Monday of April, the Church & Society gave me 
an invitation to settle. The salary voted was ^"120. 

1 Abigail, sister of Mrs. McClure, married John Gillet (Yale, 1758), of 

2 Now the town of South Windsor. 

17 2 Diary of 

They had been destitute about 3 years & divided in the 
choice of Candidates. They were unexpectedly united 
in their call to me. 

The last minister here was Mr. Joseph Perry, 1 who was 
settled Colleague with the aged Mr. Timothy Edwards, 
who was the first settled minister of the Society, and the 
father of that eminent Divine, President Jonathan Ed- 
wards, whose writings display a masterly genius, piety, 
and profound theology. 

At an adjourned meeting of the Church & Society to 
receive my answer, I wrote to each my acceptance of 
their call. 

The Church met & consulted with me on the time for 
the instalment, which was fixed to 1786 June 14th. The 
Churches invited were the North Church in East Wind- 
sor — the two Churches in Windsor — the North & South 
Church in Hartford & first Church in E. Hartford & the 
Church in Bolton. 

The Council convened on that day — The Hon. Erastus 
Wolcott, Wm. Wolcott Esq r ., Deacon Benoni Olcott & 
Deacon Amasa Loomis, were the Church Committee to 
wait on the Council. 

Mr. Hinsdale made the introductory prayer. Doctor 
Williams preached from Luke 2. 14. Glory be to God in 
the highest &c. — Mr. Boardman gave the right hand of 
fellowship, & Mr. Strong made the concluding prayer. 
There was no charge or imposition of hands, as I had al- 
ready received ordination. May heaven succeed this new 
relation in which I am placed with this people, & make 
me instrumental of good to their best & eternal interests, 
& faithful to the cause of the great Redeemer! 

The day of instalment was a solemn, peaceful & pleas- 
ant season. 

July 5. — I removed my family from Hebron into the 
house of Mr. Elizur Wolcott, which I afterwards pur- 

1 B.A., Harvard, 1752, died April, 1783. 

David McClure 173 

chased, together with about n acres of land belonging to 
it, for eleven hundred dollars. 

The people subscribed timber & materials, nearly suffi- 
cient to build a barn & the frame of an house. 

Sept. 5. — Our daughter Mary Ann was born, whom God 
was pleased to take to himself July n. 1789, aged 2 years 
& 10 months. She died of the Measles. A pleasant dear 

Agreed with Mr. Benjamin Wolcott for a house lot 
near the Meeting House. Had the timber hauled, & a 
considerable part of it hued ; at which time Mr. Wolcott 
offered me his place, which I purchased, and afterwards 
sold the timber to Mr. Daniel Jones of Hartford. 

The Society contains about 143 families, (exclusive of 
Wapping,) three of which are Sectarians (professedly 
baptists). They live principally on one street 4^ miles in 
length. The farms are laid out from the River, running 
3^- Miles easterly. Part of the members of the Church 
live in the bounds of Wapping. The district of Wap- 
ping is exempted from paying rates here, on account of 
their having preaching there, part or the whole of the 
year, if they chuse. At the time of Mr. Edwards settle- 
ment here 1695, the North parish & Ellington were part 
of the Society. 

Borrowed £190 of the Society towards payment of the 
place purchased. Which I paid with the interest ; but 
which I was not able to do under 15 years, on account of 
the depreciation of my salary. In that space of time, I 
builded a School House, and Mrs. Gillet of Hebron taught 
in it a school of Misses, the greater part of whom boarded 
in my family. I also taught a number of youths, princi- 
pally from fall to spring, and received, in the course of 
several years, from my boarding pupils upwards of three 
thousand dollars. With this assistance, I was enabled to 
pay my debt to the Society, and with part of it to sup- 
port my family, as my salary was insufficient. Two years, 

174 Diary of 

1795 & 6, the Society voted 80 dollars addition yearly, on 
account of the high prices of articles of living. Those 
years wheat was 10 s /. to 12 s /. Rye 6/. Indian corn 5 s /. 
per Bushel. Afterwards they rose higher. This was oc- 
casioned by the great increase of Banks and bank bills, 
and the wars in Europe. 

My family was visited with sickness several years. We 
have been called to sing of mercies and afflictions. 

1796. Aug! — Attended the commencement at Dart- 
mouth College. In preaching there on the Sabbath, I 
began to perceive a considerable failure of my voice, 
which was brought on by straining it when oppressed 
with a cold & hoarseness, some time before. 

In July last Mrs. McC. & myself, Dr. Tudor & several 
of our neighbours went to New London, & sailed over to 
Long Island, where we lodged 2 nights. 

1798. — This winter my voice failed, so that I was able 
to preach but little. Mess r! ! Phelps, Olcott, & Wright, sup- 
plied the pulpit. Some contributions were made for 
them. When destitute of assistance Deacon Reed, read 
my sermons, & I made the prayers. Was advised by 
physicians to try the Sea air. Accordingly concluded to 
go to Boston & from thence to the District of Maine. 
The association were kind enough to offer to supply the 
pulpit in my absence. 

1799. — Went with our daughter Rachel to Boston, & 
from thence sailed with Capt" Hunter of Bristol, and ar- 
rived at Damariscotta at my brother Thomas, the next 
day. Found him & family well ; pleasantly situated and 
prosperous in business, tarried there about 5 weeks, & I 
week at Capt. n Nickels at Pemaquid. Bathed frequently 
in the ocean, & went a fishing. Lodged one night at Mr. 
Thompson's on Rutherford's Island, and one Night on 
board the fishing boat (Capt? Fly) on the Ocean. 12 fish- 
ing boats were in company. They caught about 3 Quintals 
each, of Cod, Haddock & Hake, in 24 hours. I was sea 

David McClure 175 

sick all the time, I was on the water. This coast abounds 
in fish. It is a bold shore, and the navigation dangerous 
on account of ledges of rocks with project into the sea, 
and islands which line the shore. 

After waiting a few days for a favorable wind to return, 
we set out with Capt? McFarland, in a northeast storm 
of rain, & a thick fog all day. At Night lay to off Cape 
Ann. Dismal dark & stormy night ! The water fre- 
quently rushed down the steps of the cabin. The vessell 
swam heavily, being deeply ladened with wood. Sunday 
morning, it cleared off pleasant, & the Cape appeared 6 
or 8 miles distant. The good providence of God pre- 
served us. The Capt. was skilful and steady, & all 
hands were up on deck all night. 

Arrived at Boston, and returned home the beginning of 
Aug. 1 And through the goodness of God, found all 

My voice still remains feeble, & I find it difficult for me 
to preach. Mr. S. Wolcott invited me to go with him to 
Ballstown, to which he was going to try the waters for 
his health. With the hope that they might be beneficial 
to me, I went with him in Sept' of the same year, where 
we tarried about io days. I found the waters of Balls- 
town & Saratoga too cold for my complaint. On my 
return, it issued in a Quinsy, and a hard and large tumor 
on the outside of the throat ; which after a long time, 
came to a small suppuration. On its healing, my voice 
grew stronger, & I was able to preach. 

The people voted 50 dollars to hire assistance, but be- 
fore it was raised, I was able again, through the goodness 
of God, to preach, although with some difficulty. 

From Jan'y 1800, to Feb'y 1805, I was a t>le to preach. 
Some sabbaths only one sermon. At the last period, I 
found it so exceeding laborious to proceed, after speaking 
8 or 10 minutes, that I was obliged to give it up. At- 
tended worship, prayed, & had a sermon read. The peo- 

17 6 Diary of 

pie voted ioo dollars to hire a preacher. I agreed to 
board him one half the time. 

In 1800 I resigned my office of Trustee of Dartmouth 
College, (on account of indisposition & distance,) which I 
had served 23 years, and had the pleasure of seeing the 
great & extensive usefulness of that respectable university, 
sprung from small beginnings, by the persevering labours 
of its pious & benevolent founder, the Rev. Dr. Eleaz r 
Wheelock, my ever honoured patron & friend. The 
Senatus Academicus were pleased to honour me with the 
Degree of Doctorate in Divinity. 

1806. Aug 1 . 9. — It is now about 18 months, that I have 
been called off, from the pleasant though laborious, and 
useful duty of preaching the Gospel. It is a trying and 
afflictive dispensation of the righteous providence of 
God. To his holy will I desire to submit, who orders all 
things well. God is a sovereign, and is not confined to 
instruments, especially so worthless an one, to carry on 
the glorious designs of his grace in the salvation of 

A degree of serious attention has appeared a few years 
past, among several young people of the congregation. 
Four or five have become hopeful subjects of renewing 
grace, and have joined the Church. 

A number meet at my house, weekly for religious con- 
ference & prayer. — I have great cause of thankfulness to 
God, that my general health is pretty good, although my 
voice is feeble. 

The pulpit has been supplied for some time occasion- 
ally ; and contributions have been made, in some instances, 
particularly for Mr. O. Wetmore, who preached about 17 
Sabbaths, For Mr. Cleveland, & for Mr. D. Austin.— When 
there is no preacher, I get some one to read. The prob- 
ability is that I shall soon relinquish my salary, as the 
people have had several meetings on the subject, & made 
proposals of a compensation. — The worthy Mr. Howard, 

David McClure 177 

of Springfield, 1 in consequence of a complaint, somewhat 
similar to mine, has resigned the ministry there. They 
have generously given him $2000, compensation, and the 
use of the parsonage. The Rev. Mr. Taylor, of Deer- 
field," I hear, also, resigned his ministry there, a few days 
past in consequence of debility of voice. So uncertain is 
the blessing of health, and our continuence in the labours 
of the Vineyard of our divine Lord ! May more faithful 
and successful labourers be raised up to supply our vacant 
places, in the great work. 

For myself, I desire to acknowledge, with humble 
gratitude and praise to God, that I have been able for 
twenty six years to preach without pain or much fatigue ; 
(before my late indisposition) but I have reason to be 
humbled before God that I have performed the sacred 
duties of the ministry, with such a mixture of pride and 
selfishness, as I am conscious of, and so little zeal for the 
glory of God and the salvation of souls. My hope is in 
the mercy of God, in the blessed Saviour, to pardon all 
my deficiencies in duty, and to accept through Jesus 
Christ, my poor and feeble attempts to serve and glorify 
his name on earth. 

In the fall of 1806, I attempted to preach to my people 
two or three times, but found it painful & laborious. I 
informed the Society, that as my complaint had been of 
long standing, my hope of the recovery of voice to per- 
form the labours of the pulpit, was very slender, and that 
I could not desire them to wait longer. 

1807. Jariy 12. — The Society met & voted to give me 
One thousand Dollars as a Compensation of the relin- 
quishment of the civil contract of the Society with me, 
for the payment of Salary for time to come, and also voted 
to pay me, within sixty days, arrearages of Salary due, to 

1 Rev. Bezaleel Howard (Harvard, 1781) resigned his charge of the First 
Church in 1803. 

5 Rev. John Taylor (Yale, 1784) was dismissed on Aug. 6, 1806. 

178 Diary of 

this day, six hundred & thirty dollars. The meeting 
were unexpectedly united in this offer. Their union was 
the more unexpected, on account of the unhappy political 
parties in the Society ; the majority being what are de- 
nominated Republicans or Democrats, in opposition to 
the Federilists. 

About two thirds of the town are of the latter sect, as 
president Jefferson calls them, and the body of the other 
denomination, happen to be in this Society. The greater 
part of these appear to be unfriendly to the regular Clergy, 
because, the Clergy as a body are the friends of the 
present rulers & government of the State, & do not mani- 
fest an attachment to their favorites, whom, in general, 
the Clergy do not look upon as the friends of the Christian 
Religion, or men of good principles & morals ; — Democracy 
in Connecticut, is more of an immoral & disorganizing 
character than in the other States. 

Jariy. — The Society again met to receive my answer 
to their proposal, which I accepted, and sent them the 
following communication. 

To the First Society in East Windsor, 

Respected & beloved people of my pastoral charge, 
By the hand of the Gentlemen of the Committee, ap- 
pointed for that purpose, I received your voluntary offer 
of a compensation of sixteen hundred & thirty dollars, 
including the arrearages of Salary, on condition of my 
relinquishment of the Civil Contract of the Society with 
me for the payment of Salary, during my continuence in 
the Gospel ministry in this place. 

I do hereby signify & declare my acceptance of the 
same, & on the terms and conditions specified in the vote 
of the Society ; and I shall be ready, at such time as may 
be convenient to you, to make a final settlement & relin- 
quishment of all pecuniary obligations of the Society to 
me. To this I feel a special inducement from the friendly 

David McClure 179 

& united concurrence of sentiment in the Society, & as it 
is an expression of their respect & good will. I was 
happy in the Union & friendship of the Church & Society, 
at the time of my settlement in the ministry here, and in 
the peace & harmony which have so long subsisted be- 
tween us, & am now happy in the union of the same 
sentiment towards me, however unworthy, at this time, 
when I am about to give up my Civil Contract for a 

This move, however, was not contemplated by me, at 
the time of my settlement, the usage of ecclesiastical 
Societies, then, being different; but I consider myself 
living with a just, able & generous people, in whose ser- 
vice, I have, by the providence of God, in a great measure, 
lost my voice, and thereby become disabled from deriving 
a support from the labours of the Gospel ministry. I do 
not, however, distrust that good providence of God, 
which showers down blessings on the pious & liberal, who 
honour his sacred institutions & support his ministers. 

My best labours & prayers shall be for your highest 
edification & welfare, & for the honour of that religion 
which we profess. 

And may you, dear brethren, continue united, and by 
the grace of God, be built up, & forever remain a har- 
monious, honourable, peaceable & exemplary community 
of Christians, walking in the faith & order of the Gospel. 
Your obliged friend & pastor, 

David McClure. 

E. Windsor, Jan? 17. 1807. 

May 3. 1809. — The Rev. Thomas Robbins was in- 
stalled. 1 The following is the record in the Church book 
of Records of that interesting transaction ; 

"May. 3. 1809, The Rev. Thomas Robbins was In- 

1 Mr. Robbins was a graduate of Yale (1796) and had been preaching in 
East Windsor for nearly eleven months before this. His Diary was 
printed in 1886, and throws an interesting light on Dr. McClure's position. 

180 Diary of 

stalled " the acting presiding Pastor " of this Church. 
The Council thought it expedient that the Rev4 Doct. 
McClure should not be formally dismissed." 

Attest Thomas Robbins. 

To the Council convened on this occasion I sent the 
following address. (N. B. I was absent at the time. 1 ) 

To the Rev. Council convened at East Windsor, 
Reverend & respected gentlemen, 

Permit me to mention that between two & three years 
ago, being unable to perform the public duties of the 
Sabbath, by the failure of my voice, I resigned my salary 
& Civil Contract with the Society, and all pecuniary claim 
for time to come, on receiving a compensation from 
the Society; and at the request of the church freely 
consented to continue the pastoral relation, and so far 
as I was able, in the destitute circumstances of the So- 
ciety, kept up public worship and administered special 

For some time past, a number appearing to be anxious 
to have the pastoral relation dissolved, conceiving, as I 
was informed, that its continuance might, some how, 
impede the settlement of a successor, I promised, that I 
would, the first opportunity, seek for a dissolution of it.. 

This business, permit me now to submit to this venera- 
ble Council. 

In the existing circumstances of the Society, which will 
necessarily be the subject of the consideration of the 
Council, I shall very cheerfully acquiesce in whatever 
may be the decision of this Council, relative to the pas- 
toral relation. The same motive which induced me to 
serve, as far as I was able, without any expectation of 

'Mr. Robbins's Diary (i, 395) says : " April 30. Visited Mr. McClure. 
He tries to be polite, but evidently feels very disagreeably. 

" May 1. Mr. McClure went out of town. I suppose he has gone on 
purpose to be absent at the installation." 

David McClure 181 

reward, further than the satisfaction of doing a little 
good, now influences me to submit the proposal to the 

In this, perhaps, last official act of my pastoral rela- 
tion, indulge me with the mention, of the satisfaction 
which I have had, for about 20 years in this interesting 
connexion, with the beloved people of my pastoral 
charge ; in the union, peace & friendship which has sub- 
sisted among us, & in which it has been my sincere aim, 
to promote their spiritual edification. And although, on 
a retrospect, I find many deficiencies, yet would humbly 
hope that my feeble endeavours, have not been altogether, 
unattended with the special blessing of God, to some 

Permit me, gentlemen, to offer my sincere prayers that 
your health & usefulness may be prolonged & that you 
may never experience, by the loss of health or voice, the 
severe affliction of an exile from the pleasing though 
laborious services of the sanctuary ; but that to the latest 
period of life, you may be able, faithfully & successfully 
to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. 

With sentiments of respect, 

I am &c. 
David McClure. 

May 1. 1809. 

This Church was gathered in 1696, when the Rev. 
Timothy Edwards was ordained its pastor. He was the 
father of that eminent divine Rev. Jonathan Edwards, 
Presid' of Princetown College. It is a remarkable instance 
of so few ministers of one church for such a length of 
time. I am but the third in succession through the period 
of 100 years. 

The Church was settled on the Cambridge platform, & 
from its beginning had admitted professors to renew their 
baptismal covenant to which they were admitted in 


Diary of 

infancy & to receive baptism for their children. Of late 
years the churches around us, in general, have declined 
admitting persons to renew their baptismal covenant 
with a view to baptism for their children, & demanded that 
the parent should come to the Lord's supper, to their 
having that priviledge for their infant offspring. 

Being myself satisfied, upon the plan of the Gospel, 
that infant baptism is an introduction into Christ's visible 
kingdom, in opposition to the kingdom of darkness, and 
that baptized persons, professing & living agreeably to 
the laws of Christ's kingdom could not in christian charity 
be debarred from the ordinance of baptism, because they 
could not, see their way clear, through scruples or tender- 
ness of conscience, to come to the Lord's Table. 

To alter this our mode of proceeding, had been at- 
tempted at several meetings of the Church ; to which I 
was always opposed, fearing that our children & youth 
would grow up unbaptized, as is the case with some 
societies around us. 

From this quarter, there appeared on the settlement of 
the pastor elect, no small anxiety, in some leading breth- 
ren of the church, that my pastoral relation might be 
dissolved, lest my influence should still obstruct the 
wished for innovation. Others from more mercenary 
motives perhaps, wished it, that I might bear my portion 
of society & other taxes. Some had expressed them- 
selves to this effect. The Rev. Council did prudently & 
wisely to leave it as they did. 

In the resettlement of a Colleague or successor, in the 
present instance, I thought most prudent & a duty to 
maintain neutral ground, & leave the Church & Society 
to act unbiassed by my influence, & because I was not 
forward in the business, some who were earnest for the 
settlement, took offence. I foresaw the unhappy break- 
ing of the Society, but it was not in my power to prevent 
it. — About 30 remonstrated — and soon certificated some 

David McClure 183 

to the episcopal Ch., some to the baptist & some to the 
Methodists. I felt an anxiety for the people to whom I 
had laboured, though with many failings to build them 
up in the faith and order of the Gospel, and thought the 
business was driven with too much precipitency to afford 
a rational ground of hope for the peace, union & edifica- 
tion of the people. 

The Great Head of the Church will take the care of his 
own cause, and can bring good from evil & cause light to 
spring out of darkness. To his faithful & merciful care I 
desire to commit this beloved people, his interest here, & 
my unworthy self. I have here some worthy friends who 
were opposed to my resignation of Salary, & were for 
having me hold it, as I could by law ; but I preferred 
peace to contention. 

My health rather slender & voice feeble through the 
summer of 1809. — Octb r . 23. Set out a journey to Boston 
with daughter Susanna, reached Mr. Phelps's at Stafford. 
24//Z. Worcester, Mr. Salisbury's. 25. Brighton. Nov. 3 
returned home, having been detained one day, by a snow 
storm, at Milford (Mass). 

The winter of 1809 & 10 I attended to the instruction 
of a number of young people at my School House, as I 
have done the greater part of the winters for more than 
20 years. It is to me especially in my present inability 
to preach a business that is most congenial to my profes- 
sion, & in which there is a prospect of doing some good. 

In the fall Mrs. McClure & I journeyed to Boston. 
Mrs. McC's health was slender. We had purposed to 
have gone to Hampton & Portsmouth, but the weather 
and her indisposition prevented going further than 

Mrs. McC. continued infirm & gradually declining un- 
der the distressing disease of the Salt Rheum attended 
also with a cough & slight fever. In 18 13, there was a 
consultation of physicians, Drs. Tudor, Bruce, & Coggs- 

1 84 Diary of 

well, & Smith of Hanover with whom I was acquainted & 
who happened to be in these parts. Their prescriptions 
were followed, but without producing the hoped for ef- 
fect. With christian fortitude & patience she endured 
extreme pains and on the morning of April 9th, 1814, de- 
parted this life ; exchanging I trust a state of suffering 
here for the blessed rest of the people of God. When 
unable to speak, she raised her hand in token of her resig- 
nation to the will of God & willingness to die. 

Through the grace and mercy of God, we had lived to- 
gether about thirty-four years. Though we had passed 
through a variety of scenes pleasant & painful, joyful & 
sorrowful, yet a pleasant & cheerful temper, an industrious, 
discreet & benevolent life render her dear to me as also to 
all her acquaintance & friends. My house is now indeed 
solitary. May it please a righteous & holy God to sanc- 
tify this great bereavement to me and to my children who 
mourn the death of an affectionate mother. By this and 
all the afflictions of life may we see & feel the vanity of 
earthly comforts & realize that God is the only happyfying 
portion of our souls. May I live as expecting soon to 
follow her to the invisable World. 1 

At the invitation of my friends in Boston, Oct. 18, 18 14, 
left home with daughter Susan — reached Mr. Duick's in 
Pomfret ; formerly a merchant in Boston. By trade ac- 
quired much wealth & retired to a valuable farm in this 
place. He was a foundling, left when an infant at the 
door of a person of humanity, & by his own exercions 
rose to affluence. Poor man ! a few years after this com- 
mitted Suicide, in a fit of insanity 

Went from Boston to Andover & spent a Sabbath with 
my friend Mr. John Kneeland. We were schoolmates at 
Master Holbrook's when boys. A friendly pious man. 

Rode with Mr. Pomeroy of Brighton to Byfield, lodged 

1 Dr. McClure next married, on Oct. i, 1819, Mrs. Betsey Martin, of 
Providence, R. I., who survived him. 

David McClure 185 

at Dr. Parish's ' — dined at Mr. Eb n Parsons a great 
farmer, son of the former minister there, with whom I 
was acquainted. 

Dec r . 1 st. — Thanksgiving day spent at Mr. G. Murdock's, 
who had married my Neice Nancy McClure. Mr. J. 
Thayer, had married another, her sister. They and other 
friends were desirous that I should remove to Boston or 
its vicinity ; but although I experienced all kindness, I 
felt it my duty to return home, to take care of my con- 
cerns. Having lost my horse by accident 

Dec r . 7. — I returned in the stage to my solitary man- 
sion. On the road at Worcester called to see Eliza Wier, 
the only sister of the late Robert Wier, the children of 
my late Aunt Wier 2 of Boston. She lives with her Aunt 
Salisbury 3 in Worcester. Left my daughter Susan in 
Boston, & put up a few weeks at my son-in-law's Oliver 

My house is solitary & reminds me of that more soli- 
tary mansion where my dear companion lies & which must 
be my last & long home. Through the grace & mercy of 
my Saviour may I find beyond the grave a house not 
made with hands, a mansion of peace & rest from all the 
labours of this painful & fleeting life. 

Daughter Susan returned from Boston in the spring of 
1815. — In the summer attended to the instruction of a 
few pupils — and in the following winter to about 12 young 
men in various branches of learning, principally in english. 
2 or 3 boarders. In the summer of 18 18 — Five young 
women & 2 boarding lads (Quinn & Harper). — 1816. 

1 Rev. Elijah Parish (B.A., Dartmouth, 1785), minister in Byfield, for- 
merly a part of Newbury, Mass., from 1787 to 1825. He was associated 
with Dr. McClure in the preparation of the Life of Dr. Wheelock, published 
in iSn. His predecessor at Byfield was the Rev. Moses Parsons (Harvard, 

2 Sister of Dr. McClure's mother, and wife of Robert Wier. 

3 Elizabeth, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Harris Tuckerman of 
Boston, and wife of Stephen Salisbury. 

1 86 Diary of 

Early Frosts destroyed the corn through New England & 
Ny York— Rye & Wheat good.— 

1817. Nov. 22. — My friend and Class Mate, Rev. David 
Avery of Mansfield, lodged with me bound on a preach- 
ing tour to the frontier of Virginia. Where he died in 
about a month after his arrival. A pious & zealous 
preacher of the Gospel. His death was peaceful and 

Received a pamphlet from Presid'. John Wheelock of 
Dartm? College — Sketches of the History of the College 
and the troubles there, which terminated in the removal 
of the President from his office. He was, no doubt, in- 
juriously treated by a majority of The Trustees. A Mr. 
N. Niles, a zealous Hopkinsian & Democrat had long been 
hostile to the President, & by his influence as a member 
of the Board, he succeeded to displace him. But the 
Legislature of New Hampshire restored the President to 
his Office, & new modelled the College, adding Trustees 
& a large board of Overseers. The old College prosecuted 
the new, or University, before the Supreme Court at 
Washington. And Judge gave sentence in their favor. 
So that the old College is restored and the Doings of the 
Legislature, set aside ; it is said on the principle that their 
doings was a violation of the charter of the College. 

President Wheelock did not long survive his restoration. 
At his death the new board, appointed his son in law, the 
Rev. Wm. Allen, President. — On the removal of Preside 
W. the old College appointed Rev. Francis Brown Presid' 

The unhappy contention, arose principally from Eccle- 
siastical concerns. The founder of the College, had in 
1 77 1 founded a Presbyterian Church in the College. I 
was present at the forming it. It consisted of 30 who 
entered into Covenant to unite in a Presbyterian Church. 
Dr. E. Wheelock presided on the Solemnity & we signed 
the Church Covenant. We were then in the midst of a 
wilderness, with a few log houses, with one small framed 

David McClure 187 

House in which Dr. Wheelock & family lived. There 
was that winter a serious attention to religion, and several 
instances of hopeful conversion among the students & 
others. After 40 years the Village around the College, 
became populous, and the numerous towns in the vicinity 
were established in Church order with ministers on the 
New England Congregational plan. The Village members 
of the College Church fell off & countenanced by the 
Congregational ministers around, formed a Church accord- 
ing to that order. They had previously built a convenient 
& handsome Meeting House. In consequence of this 
revolution, the College Presbyterian Church was nearly 
annihilated. The late Presid 1 John Wheelock, adhered to 
the Church founded by his father, and would not consent 
to the change. Hence, I conceive arose the greater part 
of the difficulty, that has rent the Institution, and greatly 
injured its reputation & prosperity. 

I received a well written pamphlet from President 
Allen, by Josiah Dunham Esq. in Vindication of Presi- 
dent Wheelock. It is an answer to a pamphlet by the 
Trustees of the old College, stating their reasons for re- 
moving President Wheelock. 

181 8. Sept r . — At the earnest request of the family of 
my deceased friend the Rev. Mr. Avery, I went to Mans- 
field, Chaplin society, to preach a Funeral Sermon on his 
death. I had not attempted to preach, for a long time, 
by reason of my weakness of voice ; but through that all 
sustaining power, from whom is all our sufficiency to any 
duty, I was enabled to speak better than my fears. The 
family requested a copy of the sermon for publication. 

1819. Attended this winter about 14 pupils in my 
School House, in my garden. And passed the season 
agreeably in that useful employment. 

18 19. Novl — Preached at Wapping, a Thanksgiving 
Sermon. Ps. I will sing of mercy and judgment. — Went 
to Daniel Elmer's and tarried till the next morning. 

1 88 Diary of 

1819. My friends in Boston requested me to make 
them a visit, and as my horse was lame, kindly offered to 
bear the expence of the journey in the Stage. 

May 21. — Mr. Stebbins conveyed me to Rev. Mr. Ely's 
(House of Esq' Talcott) in Vernon. Saw there a Mr. 
Demock, a Candidate. — next Mr. Ely, succeeds an old 
acquaintance the Rev. Mr. Kellog, and is a worthy man & 
very useful & popular in the place. 

Next morning got into the Stage. — dined at Starbridge 
— & reached Boston about midnight. Sabbath Afternoon 
& Even? attended worship at Park Street. Professor 
Shirtliff of Dartmouth College, & a Mr. Jenks preached. 
The latter a popular, evangelical preacher. This is 
Election Week in Boston. — A Mr. Eaton, preached a good 
sermon — here is no public dinner for the Clergy — but they 
were invited to Lieu' Gov' Phillips. 

Thursday heard Judge Haven deliver an address at 
Chauncey Place, to the Society for the suppression of 
Intemperence & Immorality. 

Sabbath, heard a young man, going on a mission to 
India, and in the Evening, Professor Woods of Andover. 

Last Friday, went with Mr. Jarvis in his pleasure boat 
to Squantum & caught some fish in the Harbour. — Drank 
next morning a pint of sea water. A good cleanser of 
the stomach. It removed a quantity of bile with which I 
had been troubled for several weeks. 

Dined at Mr. Peters's with Gen. G. McClure, of Bath, N.Y. 

May 13. — Set out in the Providence Stage. Dined at 
Providence — called on Mr. B. Hopping — in the even? at 
Mr. Smith's. Next morning set out in the Stage & 
reached Capt" Buckland's — who the next morning was so 
kind as to give me a conveyance home, having experienced 
the goodness of Divine Providence & the kindness of 
friends in the whole journey. 

[ (Omitted) 1816. Sept. 25. — Went a journey to Boston, 

David McClure 189 

reached Mrs. Duick's Pomfret. — Next day Mr. Long in 
New Milford. — Next day Brighton. — Next day Boston. — 
Rode to Dorchester to Miss Blanchard's, with Mrs. Mc- 
Clure. — with Mrs. Thayer to Roxbury to Mrs. Summers — 
to Dr. Moore's & Mrs. Adams, Charlestown. Kept Sabb. 
with Mr. Homer of Newton, preached for him in the after- 
noon. Monday rode to Rev. Mr. Sewell's, Burlington — 
Tuesday to Brighton, where was a Cattle Show — Same 
day to Newton, to an Association — Dr. Stearns, Mr. 
Holmes, Mr. Eliot of Watertown, Mr. Ripley — 

Wednesday to Mr. Hyde, in Medway, where was an 
Association — Dr. Emmons — Mr. Long — Mess" Wilder & 
Coleman of Attleborough — Mr. Fisk of Wrentham — Mr. 
Williams late of Providence — Mr. Thompson of Rehoboth 

See page 23 [page 19 of printed book]. 

In the Summer of 1768, being my third year at College, 
I took a ride to the Sea Shore & in company with Mr. 
Chester Bingham tarried a few days at Narraganset. 1 
My health at this time was slender. 

Sabbath, attended the Indian meeting, at their meeting 
house, which was small & about the size of a common 
school house. About 50 Indians were present. They 
were mostly elderly people. They sung, prayed & ex- 
horted. There were 4 or 5 who exhorted. The prin- 
cipal speaker was called Sam! Ashpo. They were all 
very earnest in voice & gesture, so much so that sOme 
of them foamed at the mouth & seemed transported 
with a kind of enthusiasm. When they prayed, all 
spake audibly, some in english & some in Indian. 
It was indeed a confused noise. In exhorting they 
attempted generally to describe the christian life, & 
did it, by giving a relation of their own religious experi- 
ences, which were mostly visions, dreams, impulses & 

1 The seat of the Narragansett tribe of Indians, in what is now Charles- 
town, on the coast of Rhode Island. 

190 Diary of 

similitudes. Agreeably to their imperfect knowledge, 
their ideas & language were simple and vulgar. I stood 
near to Ashpo, and noticed the following expressions in 
his prayer in confession of sins. We must allow for 
grossness of the style, from his imperfect knowledge. 
" Lord, thou knowest what a poor vile sinner I have 
been ; how I have been a vile drunkard, and like a beast 
have lain drunk in my own spue, all night at taverns and 
on the road ; but O Lord, thou has forgiven me my sins, 
for the sake of our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, who can 
save the vilest sinner " &c — 

One of the exhorters said, " I have been up the North 
ward in the french war, and when cold weather come on 
orders come — Go into winter quarters. This was dread- 
ful news, to stay there all winter in cold & hunger ; but 
soon word come again, strike your tents & home boys 
home. Then was all glad, and so it is with a christian 
going to Heaven." 

Another said, " I have been to New Port & down the 
wharf, & seen a ship just going to sea. There friends 
shake hands, and cry farewell, soon the sails are up & the 
wind comes & she goes, & all hands huzza, (hurraw) so 
it is with a christian going to Heaven." 

As a sample of their ready wit even in serious things, 
among other instances, after meeting passing the house 
of one of the speakers, standing in his door, He said to 
me, "How do you like our way of worship? I replied 
some things are very good ; but would it not be more 
edifying, in prayer for one to pray & the congregation to 
join? — He replied "that will never do. Must make 'em 
all pray. Plaguy apt to clieaty 

When in the Meeting, one of the Exhorters addressed 
me & my companion, & said "this is the way that we 
Indians have to get to Heaven. You white people have 
another way. I don't know but your way will bring you 
there, but I know that our way will bring us there." 

David McClure 19 l 

There are perhaps 50 or 60 families of these poor peo- 
ple, the remnant of once a numerous & warlike nation. 
They live miserably, in general. Are very slovenly 
farmers, and commonly spend the earnings of their labour 
of fishing & hunting, in strong drink. 

It is a pity they have not better advantages for religious 
instruction. A pious school master lives with them, with 
his family, who is supported, in part, by a Society in 
Massachusetts, for propogating Christian Knowledge 
among the Indians. 

The next day I called to see one of the chief exhorters. 
He had a comfortable house, a small orchard & kept a 
team of one yoke of Oxen and appeared the best liver 
among them. 

He gave me the following account of his religious ex- 
perience. He was very particular; but the substance 
was — That he knew nothing about Jesus Christ, or the 
bible when he was young; but that his grandmother 
frequently talked to him about dying, & told him of what 
he now knows from the Bible, of Heaven & Hell. When 
he grew up he called to mind what she had said ; and was 
a long time in great distress, fearing he should go to Hell. 
He lived as well as he knew how & prayed to an unknown 
God. Such was his distress, he could not hunt or attend 
any business. One day in the woods, whether he was 
asleep or awake, or whether his soul had gone out of his 
body he could not tell ; he was taken by an Angel into 
Heaven, expecting there to be condemned to Hell ; but 
one sitting on a glorious throne, opened a golden book 
& shewed him the place, at the sight, all his sins came 
fresh to his remembrance ; then with a pen dipped in 
blood he blotted out the account & sprinkled blood upon 
him, and all his sins & sorrows were done away. He 
felt most joyful & wished to continue there to praise & 
glorify God. 

192 Diary of 

See page 34 [26 of printed book]. 

June — 1772. Mr. Frisbie & I tarried a Night with Rev. 
Sampson Occom, at Mohegan. His house was a decent 
two story building. We lodged in a good feather bed in 
a chamber papered & painted ; adjoining was his Library 
of a handsome collection, brought by him, principally 
from Great Britain. 

He appeared to preside in his family with dignity & to 
have his children in subjection. In these, however, & 
in his Wife, he was not happy. He wished to live in 
english style ; but his Wife who was of the Montauk 
Tribe retained a fondness for her indian customs. She 
declined, evening & morning setting at table. Her dress 
was mostly indian, & when he spake to her in english, she 
answered in her native language, although she could speak 
good english. His children when they left him, adopted 
the wild & roving life of Savages. We passed the eve- 
ning & morning with him in pleasant conversation ; princi- 
pally in hearing his adventures in England & Scotland. 
He appeared to possess a grateful sense of the distin- 
guished notice shewn him there & the success of his 
mission & to be much concerned for the salvation of his 
countrymen. At our departure he walked with us to 
the road, took down the bars & took an affectionate 

He was a pious man, with all his failings, & a gentleman 
in his manners. Such was his reputation in Scotland, 
that some Gentlemen there offered to obtain for him a 
Doctorate in Divinity, from the University of Edenburgh, 
but he modestly declined the honour. 

He informed us, (we had heard the report before,) that 
while in England, he was invited to receive episcopal 
orders, as a missionary of the established church, with 
flattering prospects of support. A Gentleman informed 
him that he & several others had agreed to make up a 
handsome purse in case of his acceptance, but his refusal 

David McClure 193 

would prevent the donation. He replied, " Well, sir, Do 
yon keep yotir money & I'll keep my religion!' 

After the loss of my voice & recovery from sickness, 
my time was devoted to the instruction of pupils, — to the 
cultivation of my garden & small farm, (about 20 Acres) 
and to reading a variety of Authors — some of them the 
following : 

Haweis Church History, 3 Vol 5 A melancholy descrip- 
tion of the declencion of the Churches in Christian- 
dom, from the purity of the Gospel. Entertaining, 
lively, benevolent writer. 

Memoirs of Mrs. Robinson- 

Falconer's Shipwreck, a poem, distressing yet pleasing. 

Burke on the Sublime & Beautiful. Words & poetry 
'give more sublime Ideas than painting. The latter, 

confined to a few objects, but words to many. 

Smallness necessary to Beauty. 
Curves more beautiful than strait lines or Angles. 

Christian Observer — Monthly Numbers — 24 in 2 years. 
An evangelical publication. 

Essay on Genius — The inventive powers of Poets &c. 

Gray on the Parables of Christ. Good- 

Minute Philosopher. Argumentative, forcible. 

Horae Soletariae. On the Divinity of our Saviour. 
Critical, learned, convincing. By a Civilian, said to be a 

Mr. Searl. A second Vol. on the Divinity of the 

Holy Spirit. 

Took's History of Catharine 2? of Russia. 
A masculine woman and great politician. 

194 Diary of 

Secret History of St. Cloud, an unprincipled & abandoned 

Court, under Boneparte. 
Will not some vengeful scourge of Heaven yet fall on 

this ambitious & bloody nation ? 

Cicero's Letters. — His Life, by Middleton, 3 Vol. interest- 
ing on an important era of History. 

Carr's Stranger in Ireland! Well written- 

Rob' Burns's works. A natural & pleasing work. 

Life of Cumberland, author of Calvary. Good. 

Cowley, — Purnell — Pomfret — Washburn — Smalley — 
Dana's Sermons. 

Controversy on Socinianism, 6 pamphlets — between, Dr. 
Worcester, Salem & Channing, Boston. 

Letters to Govf C. Strong, on the Inconsistancy of Chris- 
tians, engaging in War. Exceeding ingenious, learned, 
elegant & pious. 

Extract of a letter from my father 

Boston July 30. 1764. 

Dear and loving son, 

I rec*? yours by Mr. Kirkland, & am glad to hear of your 
welfare. You have greatly rejoiced all our hearts in ex- 
pressing your zeal & resolution for the glory of God, in 
the service of his son Jesus Christ, to carry his gospel 
among the aboriginal natives. It is the most honourable 
employment in the world. O my son, I have given you 
up to God, soul & body. Many prayers I have put up to 
Heaven for you. I hope God is answering them now. O 
my son, go on in the strength of the Lord, & in the power 
of his might. You may expect onsets from Satan, the 
world & the flesh, but the more you find yourself assaulted 
by them, be still more earnest at the throne of Grace. 

David McClure 195 

The Lord's promise stands sure, " they that seek me early 
shall find me. — Give not way to discouragements — I shall 
write you often. My kind compliments to the Rev. Mr. 

Your loving Father and Mother, 

John & Rachel Mc Clure 

Extract of a letter from my brother Samuel Mc Clure, 
to me in Connecticut. — 
Dear Brother, boston Oct^ 13. 1765. 

With grief of heart, I sympathize & condole with you 
in the death of our dear mother. She departed this life 
the 24 th lilt' 11 in perfect possession of her senses. She was 
not quite a fortnight confined to the house. Father was 
absent at the southward. Dr. Kast ' administered some 
means for a severe colic, which did not remove the cause. 
Her pains were great. We were not apprehensive she 
was so near to death until two days before that mournful 
event. A few hours before her death, she called us all & 
took an affectionate leave, & giving us her blessing. It 
seemed almost like tearing our souls from our bodies, 
thus suddenly to loose one of the best of parents. 

To the eldest she said, " Billy, my dear Billy, you have 
been a good child to me. May God reward you. May 
God bless you with the best of Heaven's blessings. She 
then called me & John & Rachel, and said much the same 
to us all ; then said, my David, my little dear lamb, my 
good child ; may God perfect his begun work. He is, I 
trust an arrow from God. She left us many charges, 
solemn charges too many to recite. Before her death, we 
received a letter from you. She said she was glad to hear 
you were well, and said she was ready to die. Rev. Mr. 
Murray, came frequently to see her. 2 She left the world 
rejoicing in the Saviour, AL. 45 years. 

1 Philip Godfrey Kast, a popular physician of Boston. 

2 N.B. The minister, Rev. Mr. Moorhead, now aged, I conclude was 
unable to go abroad. (Author's note.) 

196 Diary of David McClure 

The children present were William, Samuel, John, 
Rachel, — James, Daniel, Thomas, Jane, Nancy, Joseph & 
Benjamin twins, Ruth. The last died, soon after my 

Extract of a letter from my father. 1 

Boston Aug' 10. 1767 

Your letter gave me a great deal of comfort. The 
Lord has kept me long under his holy afflicting hand ; 
but glory to his name, I shall forever, I hope, praise him. 
What he has taken from me in creature enjoyments, he 
has fully made up to me, in himself. God has made me 
sensible of many of my short comings, & I trust has given 
me grace to double my diligence & watchfulness. I have 
experienced more of the love of Christ, his sovereignty, 
his holiness & adorable excellencies, than I have done for 
many years. O I find by experience that afflictions are 
great mercies, Glory to God for them. The Rev. Mr. 
Wheelock preached for us yesterday, being sacrament day. 
His text in John 5. Ye will not come unto me that ye 
may have life. An excellent sermon — &c. 
I remain your loving father 

John Mc Clure 

1 He died in Boston, at my Uncle Samuel Mc Clure's Aug. 30. 1769 
aged about 51. (Author's note.) 

John McClure's two sons, David & Samuel, from near 
Londonderry in Ireland, came to Boston 1729. David 
removed to Brookfield — Left a numerous posterity. Some 
of them removed to the States of N. York and Vermont. 
His grandson David, a physician, lived in Stafford. 
Samuel's children were, 

Jane, married to Robert Fullerton, of Boston. 
David, drowned at sea. 

Anna, married to Matthew Stewert of Boston. 
Samuel, married to Martha McClure of Boston. 
Margaret, married to Thomas Stinson Esq. of Deer 

Island, Maine. 
John, married to Rachel McClintock of Medford, by 
the Rev. John Moorhead, Aug! 5. 1740. 
Their children were, 

William, born Septf 3. 1741, married Martha Wier. 
His second wife Tammy Burns, both of Boston. 
He Died at sea, return? from Captivity in Eng- 
land in the war 1783. (Lieut, of a Privateer, from 
Samuel, born July 6, 1743. married Abigail Dean of 
Exeter. — 2? Wife Miriam Dalton of Haverhill, 
died 18 1 5, July, at Concord, N. H. Aged 72. 
Commanded a company of militia at Ticonder- 
oga, in 1777. 
John, born March 3. 1745. twice married. I s . 1 Wife a 
Davis of Savanna — 2? a Sally Davis of Newbern, 
N. Car. died in Boston, May 18. 1785. (Major 
in the Georgia Army.) 
Rachel, born Dec. 10. 1746. married Capt. H. Hunter 
(mercht in Boston.) died Dec. 1813. 

198 Diary of David McClure 

David, born Nov. 18* 1748, O. S. married Hannah 

Pomeroy of Hebron, she died at E. Windsor 

April 9. 1 8 14. aged 62. 
James, born Feb? 25. 1750, married Eliz. Randlet of 

Exeter N. H. died at Dublin in Ireland March 

1791. (Cap! & owner of a Ship there.) 
Daniel, born March 13. 1753, died in Savanna, Sept. 

l S- l 77S- — Aged 22. 
Thomas, born Nov. 21, 1754, married Nancy Hunter 

of Bristol, Maine, 2 d Wife Mary Wilson of 

Jane, born July 27'!" 1757, married James Randlet of 

Exeter, died [1804 or 1805.] 
Nancy, born Aug! 5. 1759. died in Boston. 
Joseph ) born Sept. 3 d 1761. Benj a a sea Capt. 
& /-died at Exeter Feb? 18, 1787 — aged 25. 

Benjamin > Joseph married ; lives in Belfast, Maine, 

a Farmer. 
Ruth, born Dec. 26. 1763. died Octob! 1765. 
My children by my wife Hannah Pomeroy, were 

Abigail Wheelock, born at NortHampton N. H., 

Married Oliver Tudor of East Windsor. 
Rachel McClintock, b. at N. H. married to Elihu 

Wolcott of E. Windsor. 1 
Mary Ann, born 
Susannah Wyllys. born Nov! 
Hannah Pomeroy, born Aug! 2 

1 Parents of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Wolcott (Yale, 1833). 

2 The last three died unmarried. 



i. Rev. David McClure, son of Dea. John McClure of 
Boston, Mass., was born Nov. 18, 1748,0. S., at New- 
port, R. I., and died June 25, 1820, at So. Windsor, Ct. 
He married (1) in 1780, Hannah Pomeroy, youngest 
daughter of the Rev. Benjamin Pomeroy, D.D., of 
Hebron, Ct. She died at So. Windsor, Ct., April 9, 1814, 
aged sixty-two. He married (2) in 18 16, Mrs. Betsy 
Martin of Providence, R. I., who after his death, in 1820, 
returned to Providence. 

Children of Rev. David McClure and Hannah Pomeroy: 

2. i. Abigail Wheelock McClure, bap. Sept. 10, 1786; m. 

Dec. 22, 1801, Oliver Tudor. 

3. ii. Rachel McClintock McClure, b. Oct. 29, 1783; bap. 

Nov. 16, 1788; m. Nov. 27, 1806, Elihu Wolcott. 

iii. Mary Ann McClure, b. ; d. July 12, 1789. 

iv. Susanna Willys McClure, bap. Nov. 16, 1788; d. 

unmarried, aged about 35. 
v. Hannah Pomeroy McClure, bap. Aug. 28, 1791 ; d. 

Aug. 25, 1804. 

2. Abigail Wheelock 2 McClure (David 1 ), b. 1781, in 
North Hampton, N. H.; baptized Sept. 10, 1786; married 
Dec. 22, 1801, at South Windsor, Ct., Oliver Tudor, born 
Sept. 4, 1772, in South Windsor, Ct., son of Samuel and 
Naomi (Diggens) Tudor. She died Sept. 15, 1853, aged 
72. Oliver Tudor died Feb. 6, 1845. Children : 

4. i. Mary Ann Tudor, b. Sept. 25, 1802; m. (1) Par- 

menio P. Whelpley ; m. (2) Abner Brush. 

200 Diary of 

5. ii. David McClure Tudor, b. Jan. 17, 1805 ; m. Dec. 

12, 1839, Sarah Elizabeth Green, 
iii. Abigail Tudor, b. March 22, 1807 ; m. Abner Loren 
Reed, b. April 21, 1800, son of Dea. Abner Reed 
of So. Windsor, Ct. They removed about 1834 
to Conneaut, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, where she died 
Sept. 14, 1853. Abner L. Reed died Dec. 30, 
1889. Children: 

1. Charlotte Sophia Reed ; not married. 

2. Oliver Tudor Reed ; not married. 

6. iv. Sophia Haskell Tudor, b. Nov. 1, 1817 ; m. Dec. 16, 

1840, Charles Green, 
v. Pauline Tudor, b. July 8, 1820; d. Nov. 30, 1891, at 
Providence, R. I. Not married. 

4. Mary Ann 3 Tudor (Abigail W. McClure,' David '), 
born Sept. 25, 1802; baptized May 15, 1803; married (1) 
Parmenio P. Whelpley of New York City ; married (2) 
June 16, 1834, Abner Brush of Ridgefield, Ct. She died 
June 23, 1864, leaving an only child by her second 
husband : 

i. Mary Sophia Brush, b. March 2, 1837, m. March 2, 
1857, John Thomas Clemens of Washington, D. C. 
Children : 

1. Abner Brush Clemens, b. Dec. 6, 1857; grad. 

the third in his class from the U. S. Naval 
Academy at Annapolis ; has made important 
improvements in binocular glasses which have 
been adopted by Government ; m. May 4, 
1881, Julia Hunt of Macon, Ga. 

2. Mary Eliza Clemens, b. June 12, 1859; m - J an - 

9, 1888, George McClelland Smith. 

3. Edward Bates Clemens, M.D., b. May 10, 1861 ; 

m. Dec. 20, 1882, Lizzie Barclay of Macon, Ga, 

4. Cora Tudor Clemens, b. Jan. 2, 1863. 

5. Louisa Henderson Clemens, b. July 29, 1866. 

David McClure 201 

6. Emma Eunice Clemens, b. Sept. 26, 1868; d. 

Dec. 28, 1869. 

7. Jennie Clemens, b. Sept. 6, 1873 ; d. about 1892. 

5. David McClure 3 Tudor (Abigail W. McClure,' David 1 ), 
born Jan. 17, 1805, in So. Windsor, Ct.; died April 20, 1880; 
married Dec. 12, 1839, Sarah Elizabeth Green, b. Dec. 10, 
1806, in New London, Ct.; died Nov. 8, 1881, daughter of 
Col. Samuel Green of New London and So. Windsor, Ct. 

i. Mary Starr Tudor, M.D., b. Sept. 19, 1840; is a grad. 
of the Woman's Medical Coll. at Philadelphia. 

ii. Sarah Elizabeth Tudor, b. Dec. 30, 1842; m. Oct. 13, 
1894, Edwin Dwight Farnham of So. Windsor, Ct. 

iii. Louisa Green Tudor, b. July 5, 1844 ; m. May 28, 1868, 
Pierre Sythoff Starr, M.D., grad. from Yale, i860; 
assistant surgeon for three years during the Civil 
War; practised medicine in Chicago until 1871, 
when he removed to Hartford, Ct. Children: 

1. Mary Seabury Starr, b. June 14, 1870. 

2. Louis Tudor Starr, b. July 17, 1872; d. Sept. 

5, 1872. 

3. Robert Sythoff Starr, b. Dec. 5, 1874; grad. 

from Trinity Coll. 1897 ; is now a medical 
student of Columbia Coll., N. Y. City. 

4. Tudor McClure Starr, b. April 5, 1880; d. July 

27, 1880. 

6. Sophia Haskell 3 Tudor(AbigailW. McClure, 2 David 1 ), 
born Nov. I, 1817; married Dec. 16, 1840, Charles Green, 
b. Oct. 17, 1812, son of Col. Samuel Green of New London 
and So. Windsor, Ct.; entered U. S. Navy May I, 1826; 
became Lieutenant, March 8, 1837 ; Commander, Sept. 
14, 1855 ; Captain, July 16, 1862, and Commodore, April 
4, 1867. He resided several years in Erie, Pa., and after- 
wards in So. Windsor, Ct., on the Dr. Charles Tudor 

202 Diary of 

place; died April 7, 1887, in Providence, R. I. Sophia 
Haskell Green died May 17, 1888. Children : 
i. Charles Lanman Green, M.D.; b. Sept. 24, 1841 ; 
surgeon, U. S. Navy, during the Civil War; after- 
wards practised his profession at Hartford, Ct., and 
Providence, R. I.; residence, Providence, R. I.; m. 
(1) Sept. 28, 1882, Maria Stuber Spooner of Hemp- 
stead, L. I. She d. May 22, 1885, ar >d he m. (2) Jan. 
5, 1888, Ida Trimble of Philadelphia. Children: 

1. Maria Spooner Green, b. Jan. 5, 1885. 

2. Tudor Trimble Green, b. Dec. 9, 1892. 

ii. Eleanor Alden Green, b. March 23, 1844; m. Dec. 27, 
1883, Henry Butterfield, a lawyer of Erie, Pa. She 
d. Oct. 13, 1885. 

iii. Samuel Tudor Green, b. Oct. 26, 1845; m - Nov. 1, 
1 871, Nellie Maria Field of Ottumwa, la.; was a 
merchant in Chicago, 111., and Ottumwa, la.; is now 
residing on the old homestead at So. Windsor, Ct. 
Children : 

1. Eleanor Tudor Green, b. Oct. 10, 1872. 

2. Charles Joseph Green, b. Oct. 25, 1874. 

3. William Percival Green, b. Dec. 17, 1876. 

4. Pauline Field Green, b. Feb. 7, 1882. 

5. Samuel Seabury Green, b. July 22, 1884. 

6. Constance McClure Green, b. March 20, 1892. 

3. Rachel McClintock 3 McClure (David ') born Oct. 29, 
1783; married Nov. 27, 1806, Elihu Wolcott, born Feb. 
12, 1784, son of Samuel Wolcott of So. Windsor, Ct. She 
died April 2, 1822, in So. Windsor, Ct. Elihu Wolcott 
married (2) May 13, 1823, Juliana Wolcott, dau. of Erastus 
Wolcott, Esq., of So. Windsor, Ct.; she died Nov. 30, 
1832, and he married (3) Sept. 17, 1835, Sarah Crocker, 
dau. of Dea. John Crocker of Derry, N. H. He repre- 
sented East Windsor in the State Legislature ; removed 
in 1830 to Jacksonville, 111., where he died, Dec. 2, 1858. 

David McClure 203 

Children of Elihu Wolcott and Rachel M. McClure: 
i. Elizabeth Ann Wolcott, b. Dec. 26, 1807; m. Nov. 
28, 1832, in Jacksonville, 111., Col. Carlton H. 
Perry of Keokuk, la. Children : 

1. Kate Perry. 

2. Howard Perry. 

ii. Elihu Wolcott, bapt. June 5, 1808; d. early. 

7. iii. Hannah McClure Wolcott, b. June 7, 181 1 ; m. Nov. 
28, 1832, Rev. William Kirby. 

8.iv. Samuel Wolcott, b. July 2, 1813; m. (1) Sept. 5, 
1839, Catherine E. Wood; m. (2) Nov. 1, 1843, 
Harriet A. Pope, 
v. Arthur Wolcott, b. April 10, 1815 ; m. (1) July 12, 
1849, Sarah A. Morrisson, dau. of Gen. William 
Morrison of Lock Haven, Pa. She d. Jan. 27, 
185 1, and he m. (2) Clara Belknap, dau. of Gen. 
W 7 illiam G. Belknap, U. S. A. A daughter by his 
first marriage, Sarah Morrison, became by adop- 
tion of her aunt, Sarah M. Perry. By his second 
marriage he left a daughter Bertha, b. April 10, 
1865. He died Nov. 28, 1873. 

9. vi. Elizur Wolcott, b. Aug. 7, 1817; m. July 15, 1846, 
Martha Lyman Dwight. 
vii. Frances Jane Wolcott, b. March 30, 1819; m. 1849, 
Barber Lewis of Jacksonville, 111. He was a 
Major, U. S. V., during the Civil War; after- 
wards removed to Memphis, Tenn., where he was 
Judge and Member U. S. Congress. No children. 

7. Hannah McClure 3 Wolcott (Rachel M. McClure, 2 
David 1 ) born June 7, 181 1; married Nov. 28, 1832, in 
Jacksonville, 111., Rev. William Kirby, born July 2, 1S05, 
in Middletown, Ct.; grad. from Yale, 1827, and from 
Yale Divinity School, 1831 ; was ordained March 22, 1831, 
as a Congregational minister and removed the same year 
to Illinois where he was pastor at Blackstone's Grove and 

204 Diary of 

Mendon ; was afterwards Superintendent of the American 

Home Missionary Society for that State. He died Dec. 

20, 185 1. Hannah M. Kirby died Aug. 31, 1858, in Jack- 

sonville, 111. Children: 
i. Edward Payson Kirby, b. Oct. 28, 1833, at Black- 
stone's Grove, Will Co., 111.; grad. from Illinois 
Coll., 1854; received the degree of LL.D., 1880; 
was Judge of Morgan Co., 1873-82, and member 
of the Illinois Legislature ; is now practising law 
in Jacksonville, 111. He m. (1) Oct. 28, 1862, Julia 
Smith Duncan, dau. of the Hon. Joseph Duncan, 
fifth Governor of Illinois. She d. July 5, 1896, and 
he m. (2) Oct. 20, 189S, Lucinda Gallaher, dau. of 
the Rev. William Green Gallaher of Jacksonville, 
111. No children, 
ii. William Arthur Kirby, b. Aug. 6, 1837, in Mendon, 
111.; student at Illinois Coll.; Captain U. S. V. 
during the Civil War; residence, Jacksonville, 111.; 
m. Sept. 10, 1867, Arabella Clement, b. March 23, 
1842, dau. of the Rev. Joshua Clement of New 
Hampshire. Children : 

1. Clement Rufus Kirby, b. July 1, 1868; grad. 

from Illinois Coll., 1892 ; enlisted April, 
1898, in the 5th 111. Vols., and was in Porto 
Rico under Gen. Miles. 

2. Henry Wolcott Kirby, b. Oct. 8, 1872. 

3. Marian Kirby, b. Oct. 8, 1876. 

4. William Joshua Kirby, b. July 27, 1883. 

iii. Frances Caroline Kirby, b. Jan. 25, 1840, in Mendon, 
111.; m. Aug. 1, 1861, Rev. James McLaughlin, b. 
Oct. 25, 1829, son of Hugh McLaughlin of Hudson, 
N. Y.; grad. from Illinois Coll., 1857, anc * from 
Union Theo. Sem. in 1861 ; was ordained, 1861, 
by the Presbyterian Church a missionary to Cali- 
fornia ; preached at Red Bluff and Gilroy, Cal.; 
died Aug. 17, 1870, at Gilroy, Cal. Children: 

David McClure 205 

I. William Kirby McLaughlin, b. June 10, 1862, 
in Red Bluff, Cal.; grad. from Illinois Coll., 
1884, an d from the Chicago Med. Coll.; is a 
physician practising in Jacksonville, 111. 
He m. Jan. 3, 1891, Kate Sturtevant, dau. 
of Zebinah Sturtevant of Delavan, Wis. 
Children born in Jacksonville, 111.; (1) Ruth 
Kirby, b. Nov. 3, 1891 ; (2) Edward Kirby, 
b. July 28, 1893 ; (3) Frances Jane, b. Dec. 
23, 1896; d. May 13, 1897. 

2. Bessie McLaughlin, b. Jan. 13, 1864, in Red 

Bluff, Cal; m. June 8, 1889, in Jacksonville, 
111., Dr. Carl Ellsworth Black, son of Dr. 
Green V. Black; grad. from Illinois Coll. 
and Chicago Med. Coll.; is a physician 
and surgeon practising in Jacksonville, 111. 
Children: (1) Kirby Vaughn, b. June 3, 
1890; (2) Carl Ellsworth, b. May 8, 1893; 
(3) Helen Margaret, b. Dec. 18, 1894; (4) 
Dorothy Lawrence, b. Aug. 25, 1896. 

3. Harry James McLaughlin, b. June 15, 1865, in 

Red Bluff, Cal.; m. May 7, 1890, Caroline 
Eliza Brown, dau. of Robert Brown of 
Hastings, Neb.; is now living in Doniphan, 
Neb. Children : (1) Robert Brown, b. 
March 23, 1893, in Hastings, Neb.; (2) Rol- 
lin Kirby, b. Dec. 22, 1895, in Doniphan, 
Neb.; (3) Gertrude, b. Jan. 26, 1898, in 
Doniphan, Neb. 

4. Frank Wolcott McLaughlin, b. Jan. 17, 1867, 

in Red Bluff, Cal.; m. April 30, 1892, at 
Bladen, Neb., Bessie Wright, dau. of Thomas 
Wright. She d. March 12, 1893, leaving 
one child: (1) Harry Wright, b. Feb. 25, 

5. Helen Margaret McLaughlin, b. Oct. 21, 1869, 

206 Diary of 

in Gilroy, Cal.; d. March I, 1872, in Jack- 
sonville, 111. 
iv. Catherine Wolcott Kirby, b. July 8, 1842, in Mendon, 
111.; m. Sept. 9, 1862, in Jacksonville, 111., Charles 
E. Ross, son of William G. Ross, of Jacksonville, 
111. She died March 30, 1880, in Jacksonville, 111. 
Children : 

1. Helen Ross, b. Sept. 11, 1863, in Jacksonville, 

111.; m. Jan. 5, 1889, m Pasadena, Cal., 
Arthur Jordan, son of William Jordan of 
Fairfield, la. He died April, 1890, in Pasa T 
dena, Cal. One child: (1) Edith, b. Nov. 
7, 1890, in Pasadena, Cal. 

2. Edward Kirby Ross, b. Jan. 23, 1865, in Jack- 

sonville, 111.; m. Feb. 27, 1898, in Pendleton, 
Ore., Mabel Cory Dougherty. 

3. Carlton Perry Ross, b. Nov. 10, 1868, in Jack- 

sonville, 111.; m. Rosa Jennette Thompson, 
dau. of William Thompson ; is now living 
on a ranch at Hood River, Ore. Children : 
(1) Clifford Coleman, b. Oct. 29, 1891 ; (2) 
Grey Kirby, b. Sept. 30, 1893. 

4. Edith Wolcott Ross, b. July 14, 1872, in Jack- 

sonville, 111.; m. Nov. 24, 1898, William 
Tulloch Wilson, a lawyer of Jacksonville, 
v. Helen McClure Kirby, b. Jan. 12, 1845, in Mendon, 
111.; m. June 23, 1870, Rev. Melatiah Everett 
Dwight, M.D., son of John Dwight of New York 
City; grad. from C. C, N. Y., i860, Bellevue 
Hospital Med. Coll., 1864, and from Andover 
Theo. Seminary, 1866; ordained, 1869, as a Con- 
gregational minister ; preached at Onarga, 111., 
1869-79, and at Fairfield, la., 1879-88 ; is now 
residing in Plainfield, N. J. Children : 

1. Ellsworth Everett Dwight, b. March 20, 1871, 

David McClure 207 

in Onarga, 111.; grad. from Princeton Univ., 

2. Richard Everett Dwight, b. June 21, 1875, in 

Onarga, 111.; grad. from Princeton Univ., 
1897; enlisted June, 1898, in Light Artil- 
lery, Battery A, Penn. Vols., and was in 
Porto Rico under Gen. Miles. 

3. William Kirby Dwight, b. Aug. 8, 1879, m 

Onarga, 111. ; is a student at Princeton 
Univ., class of 1901. 

4. Katharine Wolcott Dwight, b. Aug. 13, 1881, 

in Fairfield, la. 

5. Marion Edith Dwight, b. Feb. 27, 1886, in 

Fairfield, la, 

vi. Henry Burgis Kirby, b. March 20, 1848; d. Aug. 4, 

vii. Elizabeth Pomeroy Kirby, b. April 1, 1850, in Jack- 
sonville, 111.; grad. from Vassar Coll. in 1872; not 

8. Samuel 3 Wolcott (Rachel M. McClure, 2 David '), born 
July 2, 181 3, in So. Windsor, Ct.; grad. from Yale Coll. 
in 1833, and from Andover Theo. Seminary in 1837 ; was 
ordained Nov. 13, 1839, as a missionary to Syria, and re- 
mained there until 1843, when the state of the mission 
compelled him to return to Boston ; was Congregational 
pastor at Longmeadow, Mass., 1843-49; Belchertown, 
Mass., 1849-53; High St. Church, Providence, R. I., 
1853-59; New England Ch., Chicago, 111., 1859-62; Ply- 
mouth Ch., Cleveland, O., 1862-74. In 1874 he accepted 
the position of Superintendent of the newly organized 
Ohio Home Missionary Society, and served in this office 
until 1882, when he retired to Longmeadow, Mass., where 
he died Feb. 24, 1886. He received the degree of S.T.D. 
in 1863. 

Dr. Wolcott married (1) Sept. 5, 1839, Catherine Eliza- 

208 Diary of 

beth Wood, dau. of Ezra Wood of Westminster, Mass. 
She died Oct. 26, 1841, in Beirut, Syria, and he married 
(2) Nov. 1, 1843, Harriet Amanda Pope, dau. of Jonathan 
A. Pope of Millbury, Mass. Children by his second wife : 
i. Samuel Adams Wolcott, b. Sept. 3, 1844, in Long- 
meadow, Mass., studied at Yale ; resides in Texas, 
engaged in stock raising; m. July 25, 1883, Julia 
E. Neal, dau. of Peter L. Neal of Brooklyn, N. Y. 
One child : 

1. Roger Henry Wolcott, b. Jan. 12, 1885, in 
ii. Henry Roger Wolcott, b. March 15, 1846, in Long- 
meadow, Mass.; enlisted, 1864, in the 143d Ohio, 
U. S. V., and served until the regiment was dis- 
banded ; removed in 1869 to Colorado; in 1878 
was elected to the State Senate, and in 1881 was 
made President of that body ; is President of the 
Merchants National Bank of Denver, and resides 
in Denver, Col. Not married, 
iii. Edward Oliver Wolcott, b. March 26, 1848, in Long- 
meadow, Mass. ; was educated at Yale and the 
Harvard Law School ; removed to Colorado in 
1 871 ; was elected prosecuting attorney for the 
First Judicial District in 1876, and in 1878 became 
a member of the State Senate; in 1884 he was 
chosen general counsel for the Denver and Rio 
Grande Railway, a position which he still retains. 
In 1889 he was elected to represent the State of 
Colorado in the United States Senate, and in 1895 
was re-elected to the same position. He m. May 
14, 1890, at Buffalo, N. Y., Frances Metcalf, widow 
of Lyman K. Bass. No children, 
iv. Harriet Agnes Wolcott, b. March 15, 1850, in Belcher- 
town, Mass.; m. April 29, 1879, Fred. O. Vaille ; 
grad. Harvard Coll., 1874; resides in Denver, Col. 
Children : 

David McClure 209 

1. Harriet Wolcott Vaille, b. March 24, 1880, in 

Denver, Col.; is a student at Bryn Mawr 
Coll., class of 1902. 

2. Edith Alice Vaille, b. Aug. 13, 1882, in Den- 

ver, Col. 

3. Agnes Wolcott Vaille, b. April 16, 1890, in 

Lexington, Mass. 

v. William Edgar Wolcott, b. April 26, 1852, in Belcher- 
town, Mass.; grad. from Oberlin Coll., 1874, and 
from Andover Theo. Seminary, 1881 ; was on the 
editorial staff of the Springfield Republican, 1874- 
78 ; pastor of Riverside Cong. Ch., Lawrence, 
Mass., 1881-85, and of the Lawrence St. Ch., 
Lawrence, Mass., since 1885. He m. March 21, 
1894, Cora M. Wadsworth of Lawrence, Mass., 
who d. Sept. 26, 1895. One child : 

1. Samuel Wadsworth Wolcott, b. March 2, 1895. 

vi. Katharine Ellen Wolcott, b. Aug. 25, 1854, in Provi- 
dence, R. I.; m. Nov. 25, 1880, Charles H. Toll of 
Denver, Col.; grad. from Hamilton Coll., 1872; 
was Attorney-General for the State of Colorado. 
Children born in Denver, Col.: 

1. Charles Hanson Toll, Jr., b. May 21, 1882. 

2. Roger Wolcott Toll. b. Oct. 17, 1883. 

3. Henry Wolcott Toll, b. Nov. 5, 1887. 

4. Oliver Wolcott Toll, b. Aug. 3, 1891. 

vii. Mary Alice Wolcott, b. July 24, 1856; d. Feb. 3, 

viii. Anna Louisa Wolcott, b. May 25, 1858, in Provi- 
dence, R. I.; is now Principal of the Miss Wolcott 
School of Denver, Col. 
ix. Clara Gertrude Wolcott, b. Dec. 17, 1859, * n Chicago, 
111.; grad. Smith Coll., 1883; resides at Long- 
meadow, Mass. 
x. Herbert Walter Wolcott, b. Nov. 25, 1861, in Chicago, 
111.; grad. Yale Coll., 1884, and Columbia Law 

2io Diary of David McClure 

School, 1886; m. Oct. 5, 1898, Nettie May Gabriel, 
dau. of William H. Gabriel of Cleveland, O.; re- 
sides in Cleveland, O. 
xi. Charlotte Augusta Wolcott, b. Oct. 20, 1863, in 
Cleveland, O.; grad. Smith Coll., 1886; resides at 
Longmeadow, Mass. 

9. Elizur 3 Wolcott (Rachel M. McClure, 8 David '), born 
Aug. 7, 1817, in So. Windsor, Ct.; grad. from Yale Coll., 
1839; was l° n g m railroad service; has been residing for 
many years in Jacksonville, 111., engaged in literary pur- 
suits. He married, July 15, 1846, Martha Lyman Dwight, 
dau. of Daniel Dwight of Westmoreland, N. H. Children : 
i. Leofwyn Wolcott, b. Nov. 20, 1847; d. Aug. 7, 1858. 
ii. Edith Dwight Wolcott, b. Dec. 19, 1850; m. Dec. 22, 
1897, in Jacksonville, 111., John Herbert Davis, b. 
June 21, i860, in Lexington, Mass., son of John and 
Mary Elizabeth Davis of Lexington, Mass. 
iii. Elihu Wolcott, b. Dec. 30, 1859; d - Au S- 2 9> l86 °- 
iv. May Mattoon Wolcott, b. May 14, 1863; m. Dec. 22, 
1886, in Jacksonville, 111., Prof. Edward Bull Clapp, 
b. April 14, 1856, in Cheshire, Ct., son of the Rev. 
Charles Welles Clapp; A.B., Illinois Coll., 1875; 
Ph.D., Yale Univ., 1886; since 1894 Prof, of the 
Greek Language and Literature in Univ. of Cali- 
fornia ; residence, Berkeley, Cal. Children : 

1. Edith Dwight Clapp, b. Jan. 3, 1889, in Jack- 

sonville, 111. 

2. Miriam Wolcott Clapp, b. Nov. 10, 1890, in 

Jacksonville, 111. 



THE occasion of the emigration of Samuel and David 
McClure to Boston, in 1728-9, is given in the pre- 
ceding Diary as religious oppression. The passage of the 
Toleration Act in 1719 had relieved Presbyterians in 
Ulster of some of their disabilities, but they still con- 
tinued to emigrate to America. The emigration became 
so alarming that, in 1729, the Archbishop of Dublin asked 
the Presbyterian ministers of that city what were the 
causes. In their answer they specified as the cause of the 
dissatisfaction of the Presbyterians which led to this emi- 
gration the extraordinary rise in the tithes and the op- 
pression by the ecclesiastical courts in the recovery of 
those tithes. 

Dr. McClure states that his ancestor who came to this 
country was the son of John McClure, who lived near 
Londonderry. I have endeavored, without avail, to as- 
certain the precise locality where this John McClure 
lived and to trace the family through Ireland into Scot- 
land. In the course of my investigations I have found 
that there are in this country a score or more of McClure 
families descended from Scotch-Irish progenitors, but 
who are unable to trace relationship on the other side 
of the water. The earliest McClure of whom I have 
seen a record in this country is Robert McClure, of 
Dauphin County, Pa., whose name appears in records as 
early as 1722. 1 The McClures were especially numerous 

1 In the same year a David McClewer, or McCluer, appears on the 
muster-roll of Fort George, at Brunswick (Me.), as servant of the com- 
mandant, Capt. John Giles. 


212 Diary of 

in Pennsylvania. We find a McClure's Gap, and a Fort 
McClure on the Susquehanna at Bloomsburg. At this 
latter place a large tract of land was taken up, about 1769, 
by James McClure, whose name appears somewhat earlier 
in Lancaster County. Other McClures, apparently un- 
connected one with another, occur in various parts of the 
State. Between 1740 and 1765 a large number of Penn- 
sylvania families went to South Carolina, among others 
a John McClure, who had come, originally, from Ireland 
to Pennsylvania. In the Revolutionary War several Mc- 
Clures appear on the South Carolina records — notably 
a Dr. William McClure, of Newbern, and a Colonel John 
McClure. The latter seems to have come, originally, 
from North Carolina. Among the signers of the Meck- 
lenburg Declaration of Independence in North Carolina, 
in 1775, was a Matthew McClure. In July, 1774, Lord 
Dunmore granted to Nathaniel McClure a patent for 140 
acres of land in Virginia. In Boston, and even in the 
records of the Federal Street Church in the first half 
of the 1 8th century, there are several occurrences of 
the name McClure which cannot be connected with the 
family of David and Samuel, while in New Hampshire 
McClures figure among the founders or early settlers of 
several, towns — Hillsboro, Candia, Acworth, Amherst, 
Antrim, Raymond, Deerfield. In other words, at and 
shortly after the time when David McClure's ancestor 
came to New England other McClures from the North 
of Ireland were settling in New England, Pennsylvania, 
Virginia, and the Carolinas. 

As this North of Ireland immigration to the United 
States has continued to the present day, so McClures 
have continued to come from Ireland to America up to 
the present time, and settled in all parts of the country. 
I have communicated with many of these, with the re- 
sult, as above stated, of finding a number of different 
McClure families which came from the North of Ireland 

David McClure 213 

some time between 1722 and the present date, none of 
these families being aware of any connection with the 
others, although supposing from the similarity of name 
and tradition that such kinship exists. 

One of the traditions which occurs among all of the 
Scotch-Irish McClures in this country, I believe, is that 
the ancestors of the McClures emigrated from Scotland 
to Ireland, and most add, to avoid religious persecution 
in the former country. The Rev. A. J. P. McClure, of 
Wyncote, Pa., a descendant of the James McClure of 
Bloomsburg mentioned above, tells me that his family 
traces descent back to a William McClure who came 
from Dumfries, in Scotland to the North of Ireland " in 
time of persecution." President James G. K. McClure, 
of Lake Forest University, 111., whose grandfather, Archi- 
bald McClure, came to America in 1801 and established 
himself at Guilderland, near Albany, writes that, accord- 
ing to the tradition in his family, his ancestors left Scot- 
land to avoid persecution. " The story runs that my 
ancestors were hidden under a load of hay which the 
soldiers thrust their weapons into, but not far enough 
to pierce those who were hidden within. The time is 
named, as you indicate, in the 17th century." 

Emigration from Scotland to the North of Ireland 
began in the time of James I. The plantations formed 
at that time and until the time of Charles II. were com- 
mercial or industrial in character. Under the last two 
Stuarts, from 1661 until 1688, the cause of emigration 
from Scotland to Ireland was religious persecution in the 
former country. The tradition among most of the 
McClure families of this country of emigration from 
Scotland to Ireland to avoid religious persecution would 
point to the period between 1661 and 1688 as the time 
of their settlement in Ireland ; but according to the Diary 
of David McClure, his ancestors passed over to the 
North of Ireland and settled there about the time of 

214 Diary of 

King James L, in the beginning of the 17th cen- 
tury. If this is correct, they must have belonged to one 
of the earliest emigrations from Scotland to Ireland. I 
think it extremely probable that the Irish McClures are 
not themselves one family, but are descended from a 
number of ancestors who emigrated from Scotland to 
Ireland at different periods from 1608 onward. 

Searching for the home of the McClures in Ireland, I 
find them dotted here and there through the greater part 
of Ulster, and those in one village or town unconscious 
of descent from or relationship with those in another. 
The Ulster Journal of Arcliceology, vol. iv., p. 160, says 
that the centre of the McClure families is in Upper 
Marsareene, the most southern barony in Antrim, but 
in what sense this is the centre I do not know. Several 
of the Irish McClure families claim a coat of arms, the 
same, or practically the same, as that borne by the 
late Sir Thomas McClure, M.P., of Belfast — namely, a 
tower and pennant, but while his motto was Spectemur 
agendo, theirs is Paratus sum, which is used with a 
totally different crest and coat of arms by the McClures 
of Lancashire. I do not know the origin or date of the 
coat of arms claimed by the Irish McClures, nor to which 
of them it properly belongs. 

Boswell, in his Tour to the Hebrides, under date of 
October 16, 1773, mentions meeting at the house of 
McQuarrie of Ulva a Captain McClure, master of the 
Bonnetta of Londonderry, and makes this curious state- 
ment with regard to the origin of Captain McClure's 

" Captain McClure, whom we found here, was of Scot- 
tish extraction and properly a Macleod, being descended 
of some of the Macleods who went with Sir Norman 
of Bernera to the battle of Worcester ; and after the 
defeat of the Royalists fled to Ireland, and, to conceal 
themselves, took a different name. He told me there 

David McClure 215 

was a great number of them about Londonderry; some 
of good property." 

The Irish McClures ' do not, as a rule, seem to have 
preserved their genealogies, hence the difficulty in tracing 
connection between them, and determining the place and 
date of their origin in Scotland ; for I suppose that there 
is no doubt that they all did come, not earlier than the 
17th century, from Scotland. 

Besides the McClures in this country who are of Scotch- 
Irish descent, there are not a few families who are directly 
of Scottish descent. Some of these came over to this 
country in the last century, but the greater number im- 
migrated more recently. There are in Scotland, as in 
Ireland, a considerable number of unconnected McClure 
families. I have found some two or three different coats 
of arms used in different places. One of these contains 
the falconer's lure, a late play on the name McLure, after 
the meaning of that name had been forgotten. The name 
itself is variously spelt as follows: Maclure, McLure, 
McClure, McClewer, McCluer, and McLuir, and not in- 
frequently the same man's name will appear spelled in 
two or more ways. 

The original home of the McClures in Scotland was in 
the Southwest, probably in Galloway. Galloway, it will 
be remembered, is the land of Gallo-Gaedhal, that is, the 
Foreign Gael, the blend of Norse and Highlander. Mc- 
Clures are also numerous in Ayrshire, and there is a goodly 
number of them buried in the Alloway kirkyard, made 
famous in Burns' Tarn O' Shunter. 

I find a diversity of tradition among the Scottish 
McClures as to their ancestry and origin. The Rev. I. 
Campbell McClure of Marykirk, Kincardineshire, Scot- 
land, writes that he has always understood that " McClure 

1 The most distinguished of the Irish McClure's was the Arctic explorer, 
Sir Robert John LeMesurier McClure, son of Captain Robert McClure, 
born at Wexford in 1807, died, 1873. 

216 Diary of 

is the same as Mcleod. That one sept left the Isle of 
Skye for the North of Ireland, and that the Irish pro- 
nounced the letter d as r, and so the sound passed from 
McLuide to McClure. I have been told, too, that later 
on many of the name passed over from the Northeast of 
Ireland to Galloway, thus to Wigtonshire, and so on to 
Ayrshire. These districts to-day contain many Mc- 
Clures." The Rev. I. Campbell McClure himself comes 
from Ayrshire, and his ancestors lie buried in Alloway 
kirkyard. The traditions of his family tell of a persecu- 
tion of his ancestors under Charles II. One of his 
ancestors at that time " had his furniture torn out of his 
home in Dalwellington (same county) and burned by way 
of military punishment for some act of his as an ecclesi- 
astical reformer." 

The McClure's of Manchester, England, to which 
family belong the late Sir John W. McClure, M. P., and 
the Very Rev. Edward C. McClure, D.D., the present 
Dean of Manchester, has inherited a different tradition. 
A member of that family writes as follows : 

"The McClures were originally a Manx family, the 
first legendary king of the Island being a Manannan 
McClure. Some of the family migrated to the South- 
west of Scotland, and some to Ireland. Sometime in the 
17th century three brothers went over to Ireland. One 
settled at Saintfield, and his descendants now live in 
County Down. Another settled in County Antrim and 
fought under William III. at the Battle of the Boyne. 
One of his descendants, Thomas McClure, married a Miss 
Swan of Summerhill, Antrim, and had issue a son Wil- 
liam, who was an East Indian or South Sea merchant, and 
married Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. I. Thomson, Pres- 
byterian minister at Carmory, and had with other issue a 
second son, Thomas, who was born about 1806. This 
Thomas McClure was made a baronet. . . . Sir Thomas 
died in 1893 without issue. 

David McClure 217 

" The third brother and his descendants I know nothing 
about. . . . 

" Our branch of the family is Scotch, the earliest ancestor 
we actually know of being a Martin McClure who lived at 
Balmaghil in Kirkcudbrightshire about 1750, where I be- 
lieve he is buried. He had five sons: William, John, 
David, Robert, and Andrew, all of whom came South, we 
being descended from the eldest, and I know more or 
less of the descendants of the others. 

" Perhaps the crest of the family may assist you. Some 
McClures have as a crest a hand in armour holding a 
falconer's lure. This the books on heraldry, however, state 
to be the crest of McLures or McLuirs. Sir Thomas's 
crest was a domed tower proper with a flagstaff and flag 
flying therefrom, with mullet thereon, his arms a chevron 
engrailed, azure between two roses gules ; at the base 
a sword pointing downward. His motto " Spectemur 
agendo." The crest and arms of our branch are on this 
paper ' ; the crest, formerly, was without the roses on 
either side, and had a rose at the base of the shield 
instead of the quatrefoil, and there were two escallops, 
but was altered as printed when my father was created a 

The most careful investigation of the name of McClure 
and the origin of the family or sept seems to have been 
made by the Rev. Edmond McClure, M.A., Secretary of 
the S. P. C. K., London, who writes as follows : 

" 1. I do not know whether you are interested in the 
origin of the name. I think there is no doubt about its 
elements. Odhar is a Gaelic adjective meaning pale. Its 
early form was Otar, but it came to have its first conso- 

1 Arms : Argent, on a chevron engrailed azure between in chief two roses, 
and in base a quatrefoil gules, a martlet between two escallops of the first. 
Crest : An eagle's head erased between four roses gules, stalked and leaved 
proper. Another family, the Maclures, has as its crest a mailed arm with 
a hand grasping a dagger. 

218 Diary of 

nant strongly aspirated, and finally to lose the sound 
altogether. It was the custom of the Gaels to use, with 
Giolla, boy, youth, various colour adjectives, or to prefix 
the term to the name of our Lord or of a Saint. Hence, 
we have as instances of the former such forms as Giolla- 
diibJi (black or dark youth) ; Giolla-riabhach (grey youth) ; 
Giolla-odhar (pale youth). As instances of the latter, 
Giolla-iosa (servant of Jesus), now Gillies ; Giolla-CJirist 
(servant of Christ), now Gilchrist ; Giolla-escop (servant of 
the Bishop) ; Giolla-Patrick (servant of Patrick) ; Giolla- 
eoin (servant of John) ; Giolla-odharan (servant of Saint 
Oran, = odhar-an, diminutive of Odhar). Where these 
forms had Mac (son) prefixed, they suffered, as a rule, cer- 
tain changes. The G of Giolla got absorbed by the C 
of the Mac and we have hence such forms as Mcilreavy 
{MacGiolla Riabhacli). Sometimes the 7/ after the C 
became simply / and hence MacGiolla-eoin became first 
Mcllean and then simply MacLean. MacGiolla-iosa be- 
came Mclleish and then McLeish, and thus MacGiolla- 
odhar (which in the genitive is 7iidhar, pronounced ure) 
became Macllure and hence McLure or McClure (cf. 
McLean and McClean). MacGiolla-odJiaran became in 
this way McClaurin ; MacGiolla-Fillan became McLel- 

" 2 (a). The first mention of the name McClure (Mak- 
lure) that I can lay my hands on at present (I have some 
notes, mislaid, of earlier) occurs in a contract between 
Thomas Kennedy of Blarequhan and Margt. Kessok 
of Little Dunrod, Kirkcudbright. Ewin Maklure and 
Gilbert Maklure are witnesses and the date is 1485. 1 
These Maklures were probably friends (or relatives) of 
the Kennedy (seneschal) of Carrick. Gilbert was a com- 
mon Christian name in the Kennedy family. These 
Maklures probably belonged to (were cadets of) the Car- 

1 One correspondent says that the name occurs as early as the 12th cen- 
tury, but cannot give a reference. 

David McClure 219 

rick family of Maclures of Bennan. These are all Gallo- 
way folk. 

" (b). In the Acta Dominorum Auditorum, published by 
the Government in 1839, I find under the date Oct. 6, 
1488, a decree ' that Johne Lord Kenydy, John of Mont- 
gumry and Michiell McLure shall devoid, etc., the lands 
of Barbeth — to Janete Hamiltown, Lady of Gaitgirth ' 
(now Gad girth in Ayrshire). Barbeth is close to Kirk- 
intulloch northeast of Glasgow. On the 24th Jany. of 
the same year, old style, = Jany. 24, 1489, new style, 
there is a decree ' that Johne Lord Kenydy (with a stroke 
through it) Johne of Montgumry and Michell McClure 
shall content and pay to Janet Hamiltown Lady of Gart- 
girth the soume of XX marks for the dampnage ' etc. 

" (c). There are records in Galloway of the McClure 
family shown to the present day. . . . 

" 3. McClures seem to have gone from Galloway into 
the County Down, Ireland, at the time of the Plantation 
of Ulster, 1608. They came, probably, with the family 
of Kennedy, 1 who have, I believe, still representatives in 
the County Down. The earliest place of settlement was, 
I think, Knockbreda (Newton-Breda) a few miles from 
Belfast. There are tombstones in the old burying-ground 
going back, I believe, to the early years of the 18th cen 
tury. Some of the family settled in Belfast, some in 
Lisburn, Ballymena, and other places in County Antrim. 
Some went further afield into Derry. 

" I find in Carmany Churchyard (Co. Antrim) one ' Isa- 
bella McClure, daughter of Archibald McClure of Belfast 
who departed this life. Feby. 1788, age seven years.' 
Derry has several monuments of them." 

J. P. P. 

1 Kennedys and McClures appear among the Boston immigrants of 1728- 
9, and there was a connection by marriage between the two families.